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December 14, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
December 14, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I donated money for their Horn of Africa hunger relief program. This triggered an endless barrage of mail solicitations, phone calls and emails from them. I have reason to believe that they also shared my contact information with other charities. I've made multiple requests to remove my contact information from their lists to no avail.

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Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 8, 2012

American Jewish world service is the worst organization I've ever gone on a trip with. I attended their week long program in Nicaragua in January 2012 with a group of all college students. I did not really know how the organization worked before hand, but I came in with the idea that we would be helping a small community build a grain silo to help with their agriculture. What actually happened is we were kept in a heavily fortified compound with a armed guard. The only time we were allowed to leave is when we were taken to the community to dig trenches for 5 hours a day. Oh yeah last minute they decided we were better suited to dig trenches in hard-as-rock ground. I actually had no problem with doing this seeing that we were bringing running water to this village for the first time. The thing that really pissed me off is after these long mornings of hard work we went back to the compound and had to sit through lectures and activities for another 4 hours. They tried to force into our heads over and over again why we needed to volunteer more and become a citizen of the world. Honestly they were preaching to the wrong crowd. Clearly we were already on a service trip! The big problems arose when they found the alcohol I had bought. Now the drinking age in Nicaragua is 16 and having known this beforehand I planned to buy alcohol right when I got there, which me and my friend both did. Realizing we didn't have a lot of opportunity to drink we snuck a few here and there. Upon finding us pouring the liquor, our group leader made us all have a long discussion and told us that he would have to talk to their offices in NY. This is all occurring on Wednesday by the way. I hadn't read the rules or the contract before going so I didn't really know the repercussions of getting in trouble. The next day the group leader said we were going home for breaking the rules and the before you know it were in a taxi heading to the airport. So there we were on a flight home with only 2 days left in the whole trip. I get home and look over the rules only to find out our group leader had lied to our faces over and over again. They had no right to kick us out of the country and force us into signing documents. I could have easily stayed on my own till my flight Saturday as I have traveled a lot by myself and am not a minor. The organization treated us all like children, which we are not, and made a fool of itself. Being with them is almost like being in a Nazi work camp. NO ONE SHOULD DO A TRIP WITH THEM!!!!!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

May 19, 2011

The trip my husband and I took into the field with AJWS was a turning point in our philanthropic and passionate commitment to this great organization and to the people served through its programs. Several years ago, we accompanied the indefatigable Ruth Messinger and other staff and volunteer leaders to Thailand and Cambodia to meet the leadership and beneficiaries of programs that AJWS funds, We were moved by the level of professionalism and passion of the workers we met. And we were impressed by the strategic funding choices AJWS makes in the field, as well as the organization's commitment to measuring the impact of its investments. AJWS's funding is often to small cutting-edge groups who may not receive the largesse of traditional funders. This means AJWS is often one of the first funders to a new cause or organization -- and because this early money is the hardest to raise and has the greatest impact, it makes AJWS a leading player in the communities it serves. Our commitment to AJWS has deepened over the years, as we have come to know its leadership, its programs, and the depth of its commitment to healing the world.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

our trip to Cambodia and Thailand (see above)

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

multiply its budget many times over so it can have even greater impact in our bruised world.

January 15, 2010

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January 15, 2010

Incredibly knowledge of the complexity of on-the-ground issues. AJWS knows how to make aid go the farthest, while building grassroots power so that the people receiving the aid can be in control of how it affects their communities. One of the best you can donate to.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

service trips and panel events i've attended

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the scope of their campaigns

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their emphasis on grassroots efforts and awareness of community dynamics.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

knowledgeable and friendly

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help people all over the world empower themselves to address their needs.

Ways to make it better...

i had spent more time working with the organization

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial constraint and growing need

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 15, 2010

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January 15, 2010

I have donated to them for many years and have had the amazing opportunity to travel with them to Africa and India to see their work first hand. They do amazing work in many countries around the world.

Photos

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they are really making a difference

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world!!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

November 26, 2009

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November 26, 2009

I spent summer 2008 in Honduras working with an NGO in the community of Gracias. We worked for seven weeks building a community center. I was impressed with the AJWS's organization of the trip and the curriculum that went along with the program. We were able to learn about the poverty and problems that are causing it as well as how to reduce its impact.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The year long program. Our group was able to make a difference in Honduras, as well as use our power as American citizens to affect change in politics.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

solve world poverty through grassroots change.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

I spent my summer in 2008 on a Volunteer Summer program in El Horno, Nicaragua. Working along side with Fundacion Denis Ernesto González López, we assisted in building a community center in order for the NGO to provided sustainable agricultural techniques to farmers as well as to bring in income to provide more micro- grants to local farmers. AJWS provided me with an amazing experience as well as knowledge of social justice issues. AJWS is an amazing organizations and since working with them it has been hard to find other groups that is as dedicated to alleviating poverty. My experience with AJWS has been the major turning point in becoming a global citizen and living responsibly. AJWS provides participants with the essential tools to assess and address social justice issues.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

every aspect of my life. they have inspired me to lead a life of service, responsibility and humanitarianism. This experience will help me determine my future career.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not do very much. they are very well organized. It would be to keep in touch with the alumni of thier programs better. AJWS is trying thier best to do this but it is a great challenge in itself.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The Lessons learned, the cross cultural experience, Friendships made in my host community and among participates. they have also provided us with a large network of people who care about social issues and are willing to help.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Are friendly, lively, dedicated and also want input from anyone in order to make their organization better. The staff are wonderful and care about the participants just as much as the communities they are helping.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help 1000's of communities that need thier help to stop the visious cycle of poverty. That is only with half of thier money, with another half they could create 1000's of social change leaders who will work to create change in north america.

Ways to make it better...

if the post trip retreats and information sessions lasted for longer than a year. I would like to remain connected but it is hard when i am in another country without access to all the great events they have.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

making the appropriate changes in Foriegn policies. they have come out with a new campaign to address world hunger and they are putting a lot of effort into this area of interest.

One thing I'd also say is that...

AJWS is an amazing organization and i hope that this website will be able to make them more of a household jewish name that they have already become.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 10, 2009

more

November 10, 2009

AJWS is a first class organization! I spent a summer volunteering with them in Uganda and another summer in Cambodia. The orientation material was outstanding as was the application process. I felt well looked after even though I was half way around the world from the NY office. Both placements had in-country reps and I was connected with other volunteers who I would meet up with in the capitals once or twice. The two NGOs were great matches for my administrative and teaching skills. Thank you AJWS!

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

over the top competent and committed!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 10, 2009

more

November 10, 2009

I spent 6 months working as an AJWS World Partners Fellow in Nicaragua. I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer with a unique NGO that empowered women through microloans, training, health education, and health services. AJWS did a great job of matching my interests and skills with the needs of their partnering grassroots organizations. This experience strengthened my commitment to social justice, tikkun olam, and global health.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their emphasis on social justice, sustainable work, and partnering with grassroots organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

November 10, 2009

more

November 10, 2009

I volunteered with AJWS in Honduras during the summer of 2007 and interned with the grants department in 2008. Having seen the organization on the ground and behind the scenes, I can confidently say that AJWS does extraordinary work and goes above and beyond the call of duty in order to pursue tikkun olam across the planet.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

La Union de San Antonio de Yure and New York City.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase its endowment in order to increase its capacity to generate sustainable socail change.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people like Diego Merino, Angela Martinez and Adriana Ermoli. It is their dedication and hard work that makes AJWS the great organization that it is.

Ways to make it better...

N/A

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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