OPC Micro-Grant Recipients Express Gratitude

The OPC has received notes of appreciation from many of the 92 micro-grant recipients after acceptance messages went out earlier this month. Below is a sampling of stories and thanks we’d like to chare with Bulletin readers.
“The OPC micro-grant gives me timely and concrete economic support to produce the story I wanted to tell about some COVID-resilient communities in northern Italy. It can be considered a “solution story,” which I hope will give us the opportunity to reflect on the idea of sustainable society. As a documentary photographer, I feel an urgency to investigate the questions that COVID-19 pandemic has posed to human society.” – Elisabetta Zavoli, Rimini, Italy

“I would like to thank you for the grant you gave me. The grant helped me so much because I was lacking materials and with your help I bought one laptop, one recorder and a smartphone. And I appreciate it.” – Claudine Ndayishimiye, Kigali, Rwanda

“In the Caribbean of Guatemala, a lot of activity is generated related to improving productive activities, waste management and research of marine and terrestrial life that inhabits the area. It is a very diverse area, both in biological as well as cultural terms, however, historically it has been ignored by the government and little known by the Guatemalan population. This micro-grant will help me explore some of these stories, such as sustainable fishing, research on natural resources and their management, and the role that the cultural vision of the three ethnic groups that inhabit the area plays in a paradigm shift in order to improve resilience to climate change and other realities for the immediate future. I am very excited about this opportunity, and grateful to be able to be a part of this program that you promote.” – Jorge Rodríguez, Guatemala

“This micro-grant will give me the economic peace of mind to be able to concentrate on continuing work on my projects as well as the resources to investigate projects that I’m working on independently. Most of my projects tend to be self financed, and support is very much appreciated. – Marco Garro, Lima, Peru

“Being a freelancer is tougher than ever today. Freelancers lack support in terms of travel expenses and safety nets. Sometimes I get paid lower than Western counterparts, too. This micro-grant from OPC will help me pursue my long-abandoned video documentary projects. It’s more than enough to cover anything I need.” – Adi Renaldi, Jakarta, Indonesia

“I’m continuing to cover the deaths of meat processing workers of COVID-19 and am currently working with both The New York Times and National Geographic on articles about this issue. I’m also contributing to a forthcoming book on labor rights that will be published in 2022 by the University of Kentucky Press and all proceeds will be used to raise money for the Poor People’s Campaign. Other writers include Nikky Finney who won the National Book Award in 2011. Thank you for your continued support.” – Alice Driver, Oark, Arkansas

As quoted in our March 11 press release, recipient Gloria Dickie called the micro-grant a “godsend” for freelancers struggling during the pandemic:

“Like many reporters, I had foreign assignments cancelled at the onset of the pandemic and haven’t been able to replace that expected income with new assignments. At nearly a year into the pandemic, it’s taking a toll. Like many freelancers, I’d made this career financially feasible by living cheaply and moving from place to place, staying in hostels. The pandemic quickly upended that lifestyle. This microgrant will help me pay for basic necessities, like rent, and stay in journalism.”