Sekem: A flourishing community in Egypt
SEKEM, founded thirty-five years ago northeast of Cairo, embodies sustainable development in the fields of economy, science and technology, culture and spirituality, and society and nature. Their goals are to restore and maintain the vitality of the soil and food as well as the biodiversity of nature through biodynamic agriculture and to support social and cultural development in Egypt.
SEKEM, whose name comes from the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph and means “vitality from the sun” was founded in 1977 by the Egyptian pharmacologist and social entrepreneur Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish in order to bring about cultural renewal in Egypt on a sustainable basis. SEKEM now includes:
- Biodynamic farms;
- Trading companies for produce and processed foods (Hator and Libra), herbal teas and beauty products (Isis), medicinal herbs and medicines (Atos), and organic cotton products (Conytex);
- A medical center;
- A school based on the principles of Waldorf pedagogy open to pupils from any religious or ethnic background;
- A community school catering specifically to the needs of children from disadvantaged groups;
- A vocational training center;
- A college (Mahad Adult Education Training Institute) and research center (Sekem Academy for Applied Art and Sciences)
SEKEM is a multicultural company, where people from different nationalities, different cultural and religious backgrounds meet, exchange expertise and knowledge, and work together. Every morning, the employees of each company meet in a circle for a collective start and every Thursday afternoon all employees of all SEKEM institutions located at the SEKEM main farm gather in a big circle in order to celebrate the achievements of the previous week.
SEKEM has established a network of more than 2,000 farmers and numerous partner organizations in Egypt and is increasingly extending its experience and acquired knowledge to other countries, including India, Palestine, Senegal, Turkey, and – in partnership with the Fountain Foundation – South Africa.
At the heart of SEKEM’s success is the continuing vision of a community where human development in connection with the revitalization of the earth enlivens all of us.