I'm white. I haven't experienced the trauma of racism, which needs to be at the forefront of our minds in conversations about equality in the 3rd sector. I believe that similar forces of privelege are at work when it comes to "volunteers" and interns 2/12
I worked for free at @AmnestyUK, 3 days a week, in the equivalent of an entry level job, for around a year. At times I was treated as if I didn't exist. At times I was pressured to take on more unpaid hours. 3/12
Being an Eastern European migrant in this country, I didn't have a childhood bedroom to crash in. I didn't have the Bank of Mum and Dad to depend on. At points I worked two additional jobs to stay afloat. 4/12
After a day at the office, I'd run to a 5.30-1 shift at a restaurant, get home at 2.30 and be at the Amnesty office bright and early the next morning. I remember that time as utter, shit filter coffee-fueled, exhaustion. 5/12
Our only reimbursement were £4 lunch vouchers, which I'd save to use for my weekly shop and cook meals in bulk. This was actually a tip HR gave me when I joined. ("Aren't you supposed to spend those!?" was a remark made by my manager when he saw a stack I had in my purse). 6/12
AIUK's volunteering policy explicitly stated that high turnover was a concern and managers should strive to retain unpaid interns. That they did. I was repeatedly misled by promises of paid work that never materialised. 7/12
I was manipulated by my manager, who told me I was "one of the most talented people" he'd met and if I just stayed on for a little longer, a specific paid opportunity would become available. 8/12
At one point I even SIGNED A CONTRACT which was retracted on the day it was due to start bc of HR policy. Because of this, I ended up having to take out a loan. I'd quit my restaurant job believing I no longer needed the income. 9/12
The debt I got into was nothing compared to my completely destroyed confidence after I was rejected for the job I was promised. I went through a long period of depression and anxiety. I truly believed I wasn't capable of EVER getting a job. 10/12
Unpaid internships and so called "volunteering" opportunities are exploitation. Plain and simple. This is another symptom of unfairness at Amnesty and the sector more widely, felt even more greatly by PoC.11/12
Thank you to @thekieranaldred @ZayZee00 @nickchef88 @Jon_Cornejo @AlmasKorotana and others for bravely speaking out about your experiences. I'm joining the call for the resignation of SMT and the board. @KateAllenAI @eilidhdouglas 12/12
You can follow @severija_b.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: