The topic of this year’s SEKEM Day “Passing on the Light” was revealed on April 21 in all its diversity. During bright sunshine, around 100 guests attended the day in Stuttgart Bad Cannstatt and joined the comprehensive program that was all about the SEKEM impulse.
This year, the German SEKEM Friends Association, in particular, took a look into the future. In SEKEM itself, as well as inside the association, a change is taking place after 40 years. “How can the SEKEM impulse be passed on and carried into the world?”, was the question, which was examined in detail together with the members and guests. The morning was mainly dedicated to the general meeting and in the afternoon a program with workshops and lectures on the subjects light and change had been offered to the guests. Thus, for example, a linguistic practical exercise under the motto “Want the Change” took place – besides, a report by the still new SEKEM Foundation and a presentation on people in SEKEM, who are perceptible as light bearers through their involvement in the different fields. “All these people are like many little suns that shine over Egypt and despite the many challenges in the country they are standing for hope and confidence if they all share their light in the sense of this year’s SEKEM Day,” it had been said during the presentation.
Self-made catering was offered by the SEKEM Friends and had been supported by many young volunteers. Other committed SEKEM Friends assisted at the bazaar, among them Siglinde Kurras, who is regularly active as a pianist in SEKEM, Margarete Eibner, a longtime SEKEM friend and students from the Free University of Stuttgart.
The SEKEM Friends Germany do not only see themselves as supporters of SEKEM and bridge builders between East and West, but also want to share the SEKEM impulse with others in order to strengthen a similar concern in the form of different cooperation. “The inner core of the SEKEM impulse is not only for the SEKEM community, but for all people in this world, and I understand it as a call to each one of us to help building a human and social world community,” said Waltraud Bandel, board member the SEKEM Friends Germany. “This can only succeed if many communities join forces to come closer to this ideal with bundled strength.” Such a connection exists for example between SEKEM and the Info3 publishing house from Frankfurt, which joined the SEKEM Day with a book stand. Also, with the Silver Forest School, there are many interfaces already since several years, for example through a partner class of the School in Stuttgart with the SEKEM School. This class participated at the SEKEM Day by performing a poem and at the same time collecting donations for their class trip on a ship, which they wish to realize especially for a student with disabilities. Thus, networking and a common responsibility for an impulse, which radiates from SEKEM and many other people and initiatives were supported. “I experienced this joint work as very varied and succeeded and see great potential for further cooperation in the coming years,” says Joos van den Dool, who is in the advisory committee of the SEKEM Friends and mainly shaped the organization of the SEKEM Day.
“The inner core of the SEKEM impulse is not only for the SEKEM community, but for all people in this world, and I understand it as a call to each one of us to help building a human and social world community.” Waltraud Bandel, board member the SEKEM Friends Germany
Another similar commitment, which has long existed at various levels, is the partnership and friendship between SEKEM and the German organic company “Lebensbaum”. CEO and founder Ulrich Walter talked about this intensive cooperation in a detailed lecture, in which he also commented on the political situation in Egypt and subsequently pointed out the positive development, such as in the organic farming and market sector, that shows that the number of people who share and support the awareness of sustainability and responsible use of nature is increasing.
Afterwards, SEKEM’s CEO Helmy Abouleish presented the goals of SEKEM for the next 40 years. He pointed out that SEKEM is trying on all levels to carry the founding vision into the future. SEKEM wants to shine far beyond, for example, by ensuring 100% organic agriculture for Egypt until 2050, 100% renewable energies, a change in society and much more (see presentation “SEKEM Vision 2050”).
All these bright and confident insights and approaches were finally taken up in an impressive and touching artistic performance by Jidu Pasqualini that ended with lightening a candle and passing it on to all guests in the audience. Hence, the SEKEM Day 2018 was a thoroughly shining meeting of many different impulses, that all speak for the light being carried on in many different ways out into the world.