During the all-day event, the SEKEM Friends from Europe reported on their activities over the previous months as well as plans for the coming year. Similar, SEKEM informed about its goals and wishes for the future. In this context, Helmy Abouleish once again presented the SEKEM Vision 2057 and highlighted that it shall be implemented with an integral approach by the cooperation of all SEKEM institutions. The European Friends Associations also play an important part in this regard, for example when it comes to networking and involving the younger generation. The voluntary work of the SEKEM Friends is also of high importance when it comes to communicating SEKEM as a source of inspiration for sustainable commitment and a conscious lifestyle. In the context of upcoming projects, SEKEM and the European Friends Associations are trying to find new ways to developing their cooperation and adapt it to the needs of today.
Continuous commitment on many different levels
When recalling the activities of the past year, it became clear how extensive and varied the SEKEM Friends in Europe are committed to supporting SEKEM. Hence, for instance, SEKEM Austria reported on the support of students of Heliopolis University in finding internships abroad, on arranging scholarships or on their work with refugees. The German Friends Association also helped with stays abroad, built cooperations with like-minded institutions in Germany and supported the SEKEM Development Foundation this year with a particularly generous donation from a member. Similarly involved in the field of academic exchange is the Dutch Friends’ Association. The SEKEM Friends from the Netherlands provided a lot of personal help this year, especially for the schools, the university and the artistic activities. In addition, they have made an important contribution to the further development of agricultural education at SEKEM’s Vocational Training Center by sharing a curriculum for biodynamic agriculture.
The two SEKEM Friends Associations from Scandinavia and Switzerland, who didn’t attend the meeting, were warmly greeted. SEKEM Scandinavia informed that the association wants to promote various plans for economic cooperation in the coming year and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in SEKEM in May.
As part of this year’s international meeting, SEKEM Austria organized an Egypt-SEKEM-journey for its members. With 16 Austrian SEKEM Friends and some guests from Germany, the group visited SEKEM as well as some sights in Cairo. Their journey then ended with a multi-day trip to the oasis Fayoum, together with the Egypt expert and member of the German SEKEM Friends, Dr. Bruno Sandkühler.