Tools to work remotely in Brazil during the pandemic: an Opportunities Fund story

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There is increasing awareness that IIC has many members who often find themselves working in remote and sometimes challenging environments, at times with very few resources or little support. We want to respond to the needs of our members, offering practical as well as moral support and helping germinate the new approaches that we will need, as conservation professionals and as members of society, in the years ahead.

The Opportunities Fund offers Need-Based and Learning-Focused IIC Stipends (up to £250) and Seed Funding Grants (up to £750). Learn how to apply and how to donate to the Fund here.

We are thrilled to share the story of Ellen Marianne Röpke Ferrando, a recent Fund recipient:

I am a Brazilian conservator with a background in preventive conservation. I hold a bachelor's degree in fine art and in 2018 received a master's in memory and collections. I have been working as a collections care supervisor at Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro, involved with preventive conservation projects especially related to sustainable environmental management.

Due to the pandemic context and the challenging times in my country, I have worked from home for the past 20 months. Unfortunately, I didn’t have adequate conditions, including the lack of essential tools for working remotely. This precarious context had a direct impact not only on my work but also on my ability to attend various CPD opportunities offered online, compromising my professional development as a conservator.

The IIC Opportunities Fund covered part of the expenses of purchasing a new computer at a time when electronic equipment has become extremely expensive in Brazil. This acquisition would hardly have been possible in such times, and I certainly would not have enjoyed the many learning and networking opportunities that I was able to attend in the past few months. Thanks to the grant, I could attend the ICOM-CC/Getty International Program (still ongoing), work as an online volunteer for the 4th Regional APOYOnline Conference (Association for Heritage Preservation of the Americas), and more recently, take part in the IIC International Mentoring Leadership Programme (also in progress).

These past months were fruitful as I was able to engage and network with conservators across the globe, establish partnerships in collaborative projects, and create com-munication channels. Attending all these programs, be-ing in contact with colleagues from a wide range of coun-tries and particular realities, has already proven to be an excellent learning experience that will positively impact my professional career.

Image: Some of the grant recipients of the 2021 ICOM-CC / Getty International Program. The image shows part of the Red Chili Group attending one of the Zoom working meetings. Image Courtesy of Ellen Ferrando.