Afghanistan and Central Asian Association Employee Reviews
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A very friendly, welcoming and hardworking organisation committed to bettering the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. They provide numerous opportunities for social integration such as free workshops, supplementary classes for women and children and events promoting social cohesion in our communities. ACAA is a notable organisation with a dedicated management team. Friendly environment and rewarding experience as an intern.This organisation is providing such valuable services to Afghan refugee and asylum seekers and they do it all on very little money but a lot of passion and commitment. They are also the friendliest bunch I've had the pleasure of working with and I'll always be excited to see what amazing progress that I'm sure they will make!Great work experience and gives references too!
Amazing work and team. Would highly recommend
When I did my 'internship' at the ACCA, the head of this organisation would always tells the story of his life and how he migrated to the UK in a refrigerator truck. His story is pretty much all you are going to get from this internship. The 'charity' is run by unpaid interns from fantastic unis which, like other reviews are also pointing out, don't do any of the task stated on the adverts. It is simply a mess, with a management who have never run a business before ( or at least it seems), and without any guidance for interns. If you can find any other job, I would recommend not wasting your time, money, and patience with this place. If you can't, you won't get anything from this place, not experience, knowledge... Just keep looking for anything else.
Interns-most are good people from great unis
Extremely poorly managed 'charity'. It is effectively an outlet for the head of the charity to further his own and his families political ambitions, more so than to help the Afghan community. They are very pro-British and anti-Pashtun, they are not shy in expressing their political views and bigotry to volunteers at the charity. Most of the volunteers do not have any knowledge of Afghan politics or the socioethnic situation of the country and so became 'soundboards' for these views. I saw no positive impact occur across my two months there (in 2019). Volunteers were made to organise political talks, not at all beneficial to the marginalised migrants or wider Afghan community, but to provide the family with a political platform. This charity has a reputation as being 'jokers' amongst other Afghan charities in London, they do not pay (not even expenses), they go through volunteers so quickly I doubt they'd remember you long enough to provide a reference, and so, there really is no benefit to completing an internship here.
I had an 'internship' placement here at the end of 2019, which was incredibly poorly managed. The interns are treated no differently from unpaid employees and the placements are exploitative. Internships are about learning new skills, this place wants free labour. If you intern here you will end up with no guidance whatsoever and spend your time fixing the mistakes of the director - term used loosely.
A hugely welcoming and dedicated team, it is an organisation which strives to help all vulnerable people around them. I have had a wonderful time in the short time I have been here and hope to continue to do so in the future and be able to help this wonderful charity continue its hard work in helping those in need both in the UK and in Afghanistan.
A very friendly, welcoming and hardworking organisation committed to bettering the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. They provide numerous opportunities for social integration such as free workshops, supplementary classes for women and children and events promoting social cohesion in our communities. ACAA is a notable organisation with a dedicated management team.
This is a charity that does not know how to run a charity. While there are some very good and dedicated employees, in general the management is horrible. No clear assignment of tasks and very high expectations without any sort of guidance. It is also family run and a lot of leniency are given to the inappropriate and unprofessional behaviours of family members. An unsafe place for female employees despite their claims being a women's rights organisation.
I volunteered there as a Political Communications Intern. I left after about a month. It's true that as soon as you're in, you're on your own. It would be really great if there was someone managing the volunteers and the projects they work on. Overall, too many people working on the same projects and poor communication between teams lead to high levels of non-productivity. The main focus is on fundraising and all the volunteers, regardless of their official role, are expected to contribute to that. To be honest, I have never seen an organisation run in such a careless and unprofessional way. If you are looking for volunteering experience, it's probably better to look somewhere else as you are highly likely to waste time there. ESOL Teachers may have a different experience mainly because there are few of them working there and their responsibilities are clear.
I worked here as an 'intern' for a month. It seems to be a family run charity organization; they are deluded, naive and lack basic organization skills. The 'CEO' is not a ceo. He speaks out of his bottom. He has impossible targets and ambitions, such as bringing in the Prime Minister to an event with a few hours notice (ridiculous). The interns all notice their nonsense but the experience was alright. They have no sense of direction, Rather as soon as you start, you're left on your own. Highly do not recommend if you want real experience in this sector, nonetheless, if you want to add something nice for your CV, it will be worth it. However, the interns are all nice, they all seemed to be on the same page as me.
Interning at ACAA was quite an eye opening experience. You can see first hand how the charity is giving back to its community in many ways such as giving legal advice, offering English lessons and organising social events for families. It is a friendly environment, and one can see how this charity is run by the motivation of serving the people that need it the most. A very diverse group of people are involved and was very rewarding and culturally enriching.
The ACAA offers a lot of interesting opportunities in charity work and is a great place to start if you are interested in this sector. You will be challenged from day one and expected to work very hard, be independent and show a lot of initiative. But you can be involved in some very interesting projects. It's a very rewarding work as you'll be helping refugees and people from deprived backgrounds. There are a lot of volunteers and people sharing passion for the same cause. It's a very diverse environment and you'll get to work with people from very different backgrounds. It's also a very dynamic team who is very determined and has ambitious goals.
Very rewarding work, flexibility and freedom to work on projects that interest you, you get high level of involvement in quite complex work, you get to use your initiative and creativity, culturally diverse
You may be faced with difficult issues, as your work will involve working with refugees and underprivileged communities
If you are a proactive individual, you will gain invaluable experience working at this charity. I was a legal intern and did just that, deal with legal cases. I had a lot of clients wanting information on matters relating to housing, benefits, immigration, and employment, which are the fields I would like to pursue my career in once I am qualified. The staff and volunteers are friendly, making the time go fast. I love what the charity does and their ethos. I have first handedly seen the work they are doing through women’s classes, legal clinic, ESOL classes, tutoring for kids and so on. I really hope this charity gains recognition for the work it does so it can succeed and branch out to those who need assistance.
Friendly environment, great for CV, learn a lot
Long commute, no travel/lunch money provided so gets costly
The ACAA team is very warm and supportive - if you have any questions or need help, there is always someone that can work with you. It is the perfect environment to develop your competencies, including problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and communication. The work they do is real and grassroots - you can see first-hand the positive impact they make to the lives of refugees and asylum seekers on a daily basis. Being open from 9am to 9pm, please the organisation is accessible for everyone. If the organisation had a paid post, I would be keen to apply.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at ACAA. The staff and volunteers were very supportive and there was a positive working environment. I have learnt new skills and experiences that I don't think I would have been able to develop elsewhere. There is a level of freedom given to you, to choose what project you would like to work on. This was very useful for me as I didn't know what I was interested in most. If you have a few months free, I would encourage you to volunteer at ACAA as you will get a lot out of it.
Free Greggs Sandwiches and Doughnuts
ACAA is an organisation that has both positive and negative aspects. The ESOL classes and Women’s Project are really impressive projects and do a lot of good. The organisation has great aims and you meet some very passionate people, but the working environment is not truly conducive to the growth of volunteers. As a volunteer, you get the chance to work in a diverse and widely skilled volunteer team, so it is very easy to make friends and feel welcomed. The ESOL Manager is giving support to volunteers and feedback on their work and this really helps you settle in a new working environment. Apart from this, working at the ACAA can be only described as frustrating. There is a severe lack of organisation, direction and professionalism. Volunteers receive no training or mentoring unless you are lucky to meet another volunteer that is going to help you. You will be working in an environment where as an intern/volunteers (there is no real distinction between the two at ACAA) you will not be getting much support. The Director has a habit to come into the office and asks each individual what they are working on, effectively calling on an impromptu meeting, but without an agenda or set-time. If you raise any suggestions or concerns during these meeting, they will not be positively received. The environment lacks overall professionalism and some comments can make you uncomfortable. Many times I was given work on projects with unrealistic targets and goals. I received work on project proposals and funding applications with factually incorrect background information and budgets - more...
Diverse and skilled volunteer team, Easy to make friends
Unprofessional behaviour, Lack of organisation and direction
There are two types of reviews here, some saying it's a brilliant charity that does good work, others saying it's a nightmare with chaotic organisation. Both have some truth. I worked here for long enough to get a good idea of this job, but I wish I had known a bit more about it before I joined. Let me start with the positives. The ACAA as a charity that does some good work for people who need help. In particular, the English Language classes and Women's project give a lot of help to people who really need it. In addition to this, many of the people who work at the charity, especially volunteers, are very friendly and good-hearted people (although, given the high turnover, the team may be completely different when you apply). The current ESOL manager deserves particular credit, as she is very helpful for the volunteers and doing a lot of the good work for the charity. It is good for your CV as well, and you can learn a lot here. Many of the difficult things about the charity are for working in the Hounslow Office, and I can see how it would be a lot better if you worked in one of the other offices. That said, while there are good things about the ACAA, there is a lot here that is very difficult. Perhaps the kindest way to describe the upper management of the ACAA is naive. More accurate words include deluded and dishonest. This can make working at the ACAA very difficult. At times, I was directed to do projects that had a very, very low chance of success, and no matter how many times I raised concerns about this, was told not to worry and that it would all be fine. In addition, - more...
Good experience, Friendly volunteers, you may be able to help some people
Frustrating working atmosphere, difficult and stressful work
I've given 1 star to salary and benefits, because they are exclusively staffed by volunteers and this should not reflect badly on the charity. Fantastic place to gain experience in administrative work, project planning, fund-raising and outreach. IF, you are self motivated and show initiative you can gain a lot from one of their internships (Unpaid! They are a small charity). If you join to be guided and managed you are likely to not have a great time, but make of it what you can and you will be rewarded with a good taste of what working in a charity is like, and build some good experience.
Freedom to innovate and take risks
Quite stubborn management
I think there are some very talented people but the principal seems to torpedo their ideas. I think we’ve moved on from leaflets and newsletters and politically incorrect comments, that should remain in the 70’s. Perhaps he needs to be reminded that British values include respecting diversity, avoiding stereotypes and equal opportunity employment. Avoid.
Some employees seem to be very passionate
The principal - no commercial acumen at all
From the moment you walk in, it’s chaos, no space for all the volunteers, there’s no legal work for every legal intern, only a few of the workers, instead you have to do fundraising when that’s not the job we applied to. The advertisement is false from start to finish, I was there for 3 months and did nothing legal based. You kinda had to do everything with no guidance, it was awkward and useless and a waste of time