ORAM is truly an amazing organization, helping gay, lesbian and transgender refugees worldwide. ORAM has managed to figure out what the real obstacles are to helping these folks, and then, developed programs to transform their lives. ORAM conducts training of refugee workers all over the world, develops advocacy campaigns to help them, and assists individuals seeking refugee protection. Our brothers and sisters are suffering in a great many countries, and ORAM is working diligently to help them - all on a minimal budget that is efficiently managed and a small group of dedicated staff.
This organization has a great mission and some of its work helps the actual refugees they claim they are helping however, the director, Neil Grungras is a self-important man who mismanages the organization. His treatment of staff and volunteers is not only disrespectful but he takes them for granted, gets rid of them and orders them around like they are reusable. The little good intentions he has are wasted on dumping his responsibilities on volunteers like me and jetting around the world to meet with people he can name drop. He treats those who work tirelessly for him badly and he is disorganized and thoughtless when it comes to implementation of the work. He does not seem to think the careers and opinions of young adults that are beginning their career in human rights work matter, and he acts accordingly. All of this behavior is said to be more efficiently serving the larger mission, but sadly he does not realize that the way you treat staff is important and people talk. I strongly discourage interning/volunteering or working for this organization.
Review from Guidestar
The staff is formed by the most passionate people I've met and I believe that this is the main reason for the NGO's great accomplishments. The friendly, yet professional working environment, makes the volunteers and interns contribute with great pleasure.
This is a great organization that works to help LGBTI refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries. I had a chance to work on publications and treatises, and also to help work on some of the legal cases being handled in the office. Great opportunity!
Amazing mission of assisting glbt people but the executive director grungas sabotages the organisation. I was an intern here and was truly truly inspired by some of the staff and volunteers, but the mismangements really hurt the organisation. Projects and publications are not planned, all deadlines are missed, and too much time is spent compensating for the bad decisions and awful judgement of the executive director. During my summer, he spent most of it jetsetting for no seeming reason or accountability. Completely out of touch but for the brief moments he is in San francisco and not in Israel or Europe, he is harrassing the staff and volunteers and interns to makeup for all the work he fails to do. I was so so frustrated with him even as an intern, so I can so understand why the staff turnover is as high as it is. Mr. Grungas is so paranoid about competition organisations that he rather not help GLBT people in need of help so that no one can help them.
We are genuinely sorry to hear that the reviewer did not have a good internship with us. It is true that our ED travels widely, speaking at conferences, giving trainings, and advocating with the United Nations in Geneva and elsewhere. Like many small nonprofits, the atmosphere can be busy, and we realize that this is not for everyone. We sincerely hope the author finds a more rewarding internship elsewhere.
Review from Guidestar
Before interning at ORAM, I already found myself lucky to live in a country where Human Rights are not a life and death issue. ORAM opened my eyes on the persecution that millions of people experience everyday around the world based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. I worked with a professional staff advocating for this cause for many years, using their expertise to conduct research and trainings to raise the awareness of governments, international institutions and the public. I witnessed the willingness of the organization and its partners to help refugees living in precarious conditions. I also met committed and competent interns. ORAM is a key organization in its field and I am proud to have been part of it.