At the beginning of November, members of the Executive Board of the German SEKEM Friends Association, the SEKEM Foundation and the State Ministry of the German state Baden-Württemberg visited SEKEM. Dr. Martin Kilgus, CEO of the SEKEM Foundation for Sustainable Development, summarized the visit for SEKEM News.
Simone Höckele-Häfner, who is responsible for the development cooperation in the State Ministry of Stuttgart, visited SEKEM for the first time. The German state Baden-Württemberg is co-founder of the new SEKEM Foundation for Sustainable Development, which is currently established by the state, the city of Stuttgart, the SEKEM Friends Association Germany and Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish. The aim is to initiate sustainable development projects between Germany and Europe as well as Egypt and other countries in the Arab world and North Africa and to transfer SEKEMs experiences to other initiatives.
An extensive visit and discussion program had been prepared for the delegation, which had been arranged in advance by the the German SEKEM Friends in cooperation with local SEKEM staff. The agenda included a farm tour, company visits as well as insights to the SEKEM Schools and the Medical Center. One entire day was also dedicated to the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, in order to discuss new forms of cooperation and international collaboration for the local education sector.
The highlight for the guests was the discussion and exchange with SEKEM founder Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish. Besides general questions about SEKEM, possible project ideas and forms of joint work, a presentation about the importance of Martin Luther for the European culture was organized. In this context, Simone Höckele-Häfner gave a lecture on the first analyzes of the 500th year of Martin Luther’s theses that is coming in 2017. In addition to this, the Protestant theologian and former pastor reported on her work in the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg.
Moreover, SEKEMs School for Children with Special Needs, talks to the co-workers in the textile production, and many interpersonal communications were very impressive, as those demonstrated how a holistic approach, with culture and education as key elements, offers the people clear perspectives for development and life. Baden-Württemberg and the SEKEM Foundation are especially interested in such models.
For early summer 2017 it is planned that an official delegation of the state government of Baden-Württemberg incuding the minister of state Klaus-Peter Murawski and state secretary Theresa Schopper will visit SEKEM. Also representatives of the City of Stuttgart, the national education authority, universities, the SEKEM Friends Association and the SEKEM Foundation shall join the delegation then.
Dr. Martin Kilgus, CEO of the SEKEM Foundation for Sustainable Development