From the 21st until the 28th of October, SEKEM welcomed 12 guests from Oikocredit, one of its investment partners. The Dutch cooperative society joined SEKEM right after the challenging times of the Egyptian revolution in 2012 and is since then a shareholder of the initiative, next to the GLS Bank and the Triodos Bank. “I was proud to hear that Oikocredit believed in SEKEMs vision and provided support”, says Ueli Burkhalter from Oikocredit Switzerland. And for SEKEM it was not only a very lucky find but a meaningful sign of trust and hope during a turbulent period that could have been only overcome by the support of like-minded partners and friends such as Oikocredit thus became.
For the second time, the social investment institution provided the opportunity for its members to visit the SEKEM Initiative in order to get to know more into detail what they are investing in. The one-week study tour was filled with various insights to SEKEMs activities as well as to the country Egypt. Hence, the participants visited SEKEMs educational institutions, the companies and the agricultural activities on the farm. Also, a trip to one of SEKEMs contracted farmers in Fayoum was organized. There, the European guests have been warmly welcomed by the whole family and could taste some of their homemade food. Certainly, also the famous Egyptian pyramids had been included to the program and some traditional Egyptian cultural impressions such as a performance of Sufi dances and music at the “Space of Culture”.
“We are very glad and thankful to have such a committed partner.” Helmy Abouleish
The guest group showed high interest in all of SEKEMs activities and in the same time appreciated the initiatives’ work. “We are very glad and thankful to have such a committed partner”, Helmy Abouleish says. “The study tours a wonderful way to get to know more and more personalities that are supporting Oikocredit and thereby our work”, the SEKEM CEO resumes.
Inspiring, encouraging, touching – only some keywords that the Oikocredit-guests expressed in their feedback to SEKEM. Ueli Burkhlater summarizes: “Oikocredit was and still is helping to maintain the dream of a desert in bloom!” SEKEM is aware of this great support and committed to organizing more visits for Oikocredit members in the future – especially as not only the economic cooperation but likewise a lively exchange, the belief in similar values and the commitment for a sustainable and fair future is making the partnership between Oikocredit and SEKEM such a precious one.