Forty-four years ago, the European Union and Egypt started fostering their bilateral relations. Challenges turned into opportunities and international as well as regional developments could be achieved. SEKEM has always been interested in taking part in this process and recently the community once more received a high-ranking guest: Christian Berger, head of the EU delegation in Egypt, visited the SEKEM community and was given substantial insights into the dynamics and concerns of the initiative for sustainable development.
The tour started at the SEKEM farm, where the ambassador was introduced to the community by CEO Helmy Abouleish. During the tour, they discussed the challenges that SEKEM has faced on the way to achieving a community-based organic and sustainable lifestyle and how SEKEM has succeeded in delivering organic products at an affordable price. The important topic of education and the cultural aspect of the SEKEM initiative were also discussed.
The ambassador visited the SEKEM Schools and got to know its different approach in teaching students and helping them unfold their potentials at a young age through different activities as handicrafts, pottery, carpeting and a lot more rather than depending only on the traditional methods of learning and memorizing.
Christian Berger also inspected some SEKEM companies and production processes – starting from the raw materials to the final products – and witnessed the making of the solar panels SEKEM uses on its own farms. The tour also included exploring the health services SEKEM provides for its employees and the people from the surrounding area.
After that, the ambassador headed back to Cairo with Helmy Abouleish to visit Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development (HU). There, Christian Berger learned about the university’s educational system and visited the Entrepreneurship Center and its ongoing projects. At the University the head of the EU Delegation to Egypt also wrote a note in the HU Memorial book.
When the ambassador was asked at the end of the tour what had impressed him most during his visit, he expressed that he found it particularly impressive how the people of the SEKEM community have always confidently committed themselves to the vision despite many challenges and never gave up in the course of several decades. He could sense that there is a special bond between the people and the farm.