In the SEKEMs sustainable approach education plays a crucial role. By a holistic education young people are empowered to improve their living conditions and develop awareness of the benefits of a sustainable society.
Next to the different schools and the Vocational Training Center a kindergarten was founded on the the SEKEM Farm about 30 years ago to promote the educational development of the smallest community members. Started with a handful of children, the service became more and more popular in such a way that the kindergarten continuously expanded. In 2015, 54 children aged four to six years visited the childcare institution. Four years ago, the kindergarten has been extended then by a nursery for babies and toddlers. The opening times of the nursery are adjusted to the working time of the SEKEM employees – allowing young mothers a rapid return to work after the three months of maternity. In addition, mothers get two hours off during working time, to take care of their children and to breastfeed them. Like the kindergarten also the nursery is enjoying great popularity: Started with four babies and small children, the number increased to 38 in 2015.
The nursery and kindergarten are regularly supported by teachers from Europe. Hence, exchange is promoted and education concepts can be developed. Recently, the German educator Doris Ude-Bürki and her husband visited SEKEM and worked in the kindergarten and nursery. “I tried to adapt the experiences I made in Germany with European children to the situation of Egyptian children. Thereby, I had to take primarily the cultural background and the climatic conditions into account”, she describes her approach. During her work great admiration for the Egyptian teachers occurred: “To care about so many children in such a summer heat and to take over the responsibility for their well-being impressed me a lot.” In this year’s October, an educator from Belgium will come to SEKEM and support the kindergarten for one year.
In order to expand their skills, the teachers continuously participate in educational and artistic trainings. The kindergarten operates on the principles of Waldorf education. Therefore, the teachers take an accompanying function in their daily work – the children shall learn to develop creativity while playing or spending much time in nature. The SEKEM Medical Center, also based on the SEKEM Farm, takes care of the health of the children. A pediatrician treats the young patients and informs mothers among others on hygiene issues.