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Solway expands its educational initiatives during the pandemic

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While the COVID-19 pandemic hit many industries and left thousands of professionals uncertain about their futures, Solway Investment Group used the lockdown fruitfully to develop new and rearrange its existing programs for young residents in the areas of the company’s operations.


In order to deliver on its promises to the talented youngsters participating in the Solway Music Camp Fellowship project as a part of the Salzburg Festival’s jung&jede*r program, Solway had to rethink the educational possibilities it could offer those lucky individuals who won the chance to experience this international cultural festival.


The Solway Music Camp fellowship targets young creative talents aged 14 -17. The Group has offered the program since 2017 to its local communities in North Macedonia, Guatemala and Ukraine. The program offers a free, 8-month integrative English language course for those candidates meeting the application guidelines. The program also awards scholarships to the six most involved candidates, which covers their participation in the Festival’s annual opera camp in Salzburg. Over 100 applicants from economically-challenged areas of these three countries have been admitted to the program since its inception. 19 talented young people have participated in the Festival’s opera camps.


In 2020, the year of the 100th anniversary of the Salzburg Festival, the partnership had to rethink how to proceed with fulfilling its scholarship obligations while the camps are not able to take place due to the lockdown restrictions. The challenge resulted in an introductory course developed to expose the culturally curious young adults to the variety of professions offered by opera houses worldwide. In addition to visiting rehearsals and taking performance lessons, the winners will also be presented the Festival’s workshops where theatrical craftsmen will share the production side of opera magic with the young adults. The winners’ trip is currently scheduled for January 2021.


This year’s winners list includes Bogdan Manita and Denis Lopushanskiy (Ukraine), Tamara Velkova and Dragan Petrov (North Macedonia), Rochelle Ramos Perez and Guerty Enoe Leal (Guatemala). Veronika Perepelitsa (Ukraine), Mila Angelova (North Macedonia) and Abigel Perez (Guatemala) were awarded a free, intensive English language course as a recognition of their efforts and involvement.


“Opera houses are simultaneously managing over 1,000 people and not all of them are on the performance side of the stage. We are happy to show young people that there is a place in art for everyone. There is always a high demand for engineers, electricians, seamstresses and hundreds of other professions that bring shows to life. Children just have to know what to choose from,” – explained Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival.


While assisting the organizers of the Solway Music Camp Fellowship in lockdown, Solway’s e-learning team also designed a new project aimed at helping young people make informed career choices. An easy and fun online platform will guide teens through what the metallurgical industry is, expose them to the range of professions in the industry, and highlight how the modern industry is becoming more environmentally friendly and sustainable. The project is currently in the developmental stage and will go into testing in September in Ukraine. If successful, it will then be introduced across the Group in all its countries of operation.


“We are aware that mining and metals is perhaps not the most appealing industry for young people. This is primarily because very few of them realize how variable their experiences could be. The Group offers a unique opportunity to those who would like to grow their careers in-house, especially for those whose loved ones are already a part of the Solway family. You can start as a mining engineer in North Macedonia and develop into a director of a plant in Ukraine – all within one Group. But as a newcomer, you have to be proactive, know what occupations are possible, and speak at least one international language. And here this platform can help,” – explained Dan Bronstein, Chairman of the Board, Solway Investment Group.


Editor’s note


The International Solway Music Fellowship program for creative youngsters between the ages of 14 and 17 is a private initiative introduced by Solway Investment Group, an international mining and metals group with headquarters in Switzerland. The Solway Music Fellowship program is designed to deepen the Group’s commitment to providing talented young people access to the arts. Solway offers an 8-month educational program designed to integrate young creatives from the local communities into modern life through experiencing arts and adapting their cultural traditions to the realities of the new world. The Solway fellowship is offered to young members of Group employee families in Ukraine, North Macedonia and Guatemala. The most involved young talents are awarded the opportunity to participate in the Music Camp’s international program in Salzburg as a result of a two-stage selection process.