Yesterday, London360 interviewed Misak Ohanian and Arthur Mcahil of the Armenian information and advice centre (AIAC). Being the largest Armenian charity in the UK, but a small charity within the charity field, presents its challenges. There is often a lack of public funds for small charities and this effects their operations.
The founder of AIAC, Mr Ohanian told us, “We would like to be in a position where we can have a strategy and stable funding to see us 2 to 3 years down the line. But unfortunately, we can’t do that. Therefore, we are literally living from year to year to year, 12 months to 18 months onwards. Unfortunately, the funding situation in this country is that if you are a little charity, they don’t give you any long term funding. Not even for 3 years. It’s a shame because in the past we were able to secure 3-year funding, we could actually use that leverage to bring in some other money in or to plan further fundraising around that. Now it’s annual funding or project funding which is very limited. In terms of the future, it out of our hands, we can only do so-much, a lot of us depend on the society we live in, the generosity of other charities and the general funding climate.”
Despite lack of funds available, the charity offers a range of services. Arthur Mcahil, an advisor at the charity told us, “On average we deal with 40 cases, that’s 40 clients we see in a month. Because of the (the charity’s) website, I would say that the numbers would be double. We receive a lots of enquires, both nationally and internationally and that’s through the website. Of course we are branching out, we’re developing partnerships through the grape project. The advice forum, so again we are trying to get out, we are trying to spread out to the community, who are isolated. Just try to branch out services to people who need our help. But of course, funding is key, it’s crucial to that. Without the funding we cannot provide a service.”