At the SEKEM Farm in the Western Desert in Wahat El-Bahariya dry land is being made fertile. The campaign “Greening the Desert” aims to green 63 hectares of desert soils. And where fertile land grows, more and more people reside. The employees of the Wahat Farm, as it is called in SEKEM, are now receiving extensive trainings and benefit from SEKEM’s “Core Program”, which aims to promote the individual development potential of people through artistic activities as well as sociological and philosophical work.
Promote social skills
The long-standing SEKEM eurythmist Martina Dinkel recently visited the desert farm with three eurythmy trainees in order to work with around 40 employees over there. Both sides benefited from this work, as the visit was also part of the training of the three prospective eurythmists. “Eurythmy does not only want to exercise ‘beautiful movements’, but also practice social skills, to be able to get involved in new situations quickly and to do something meaningful with all people at any time and in any environment,” explains Martina Dinkel. “To engage in diversity, to work integratively and to spread joy and loving interest are important aspects of eurythmy,” she continues.
The eurythmists arrived with a lot of luggage including sticks, different kinds of balls, a drum and folders with notes and poems – all this was needed for the various activities, as they did not only do eurythmy together, but also sang, juggled or played ball.
Learning SEKEM rituals
For the first time, the three trainees travelled to the desert and hence had to get used to the extreme climatic conditions. Accordingly, the daily routine in Wahat El-Bahariya also looks a bit different to the one they are used to from the SEKEM main farm. The characteristic morning circle already takes place at 5 o’clock, when the sun has just risen. On the Wahat-Farm they practiced the morning poem that is spoken by all SEKEM institutions every day, as it is not yet familiar to the many new employees on the desert farm. At lunchtime, when it was too hot to work outside, they did eurythmy in the shade of the courtyard and in the evening when everyone returned from the field work they played ball games and ended the day with singing and reading together.
Hence, the three days were designed intensively in the sense of the Core Programs. “It was wonderful to see how quickly the farm employees got into an exchange with the eurythmists and how they developed a special spontaneity and creativity that both sides wouldn’t have experienced during their daily working routine,” says Martina Dinkel. “The trainees showed a deep sense of responsibility for what they did together with the employees and had great respect for the hard work on the fields in the desert region.”
The Core Program is an important pillar of the Greening the Desert project, as it supports the overall goal of the entire campaign, developing communities in the desert – like that “the desert does not just grow on the outside, but also from the inside,” as Martina Dinkel describes it.