In 2004, Ibrahim Abouleish, SEKEM’s founder had initiated a project to develop the villages surrounding SEKEM Farm. The project was in action for three years, during which the 13 villages (on an area of 45,000 square kilometers with around 35,000 residents) received campaigns and actions for their development. Several years later SEKEM takes the project up again in order to support a sustainable transformation of these villages. In this context, SEKEM wants to work on it’s Vision Goal number 16 “Community Development & Social Transformation”. The below presented projects are examples of the updates happening in the last few months.
Teacher’s training for two schools from the 13 villages
In September 2021, 38 teachers from Tahaweya primary school joined a two weeks teachers’ training program organized carried out by the SEKEM school trainers. The two weeks training was the first phase with three trainings and regarded the introduction to education for sustainable development. All participating teachers received a certificate of attendance which qualifies them to attend the following rounds of training which will include the Education for sustainable development in-depth and subject matter training in regards to science, Arabic and more.
Amin Abdallah, SEKEM Teacher
Start of the sports academy on the SEKEM
The sports academy of SEKEM started in the month of September 2021 by welcoming around 30 children from the 13 villages twice a week for two and a half hours of football practice. It takes place on the football soccer field in the SEKEM Farm. The age of the kids ranges from 7 to 13 years and they come from the 13 villages around SEKEM. The academy wants to continuously increase and diversify its sports offer while it is growing in order to give access to sports to more boys and girls from the villages and to increase the inter-community exchange. The football team is supposed to be the starting point of creating an official sports club which participates in various sport activities of the governorate of Sharkia and which goes actively into the villages to initiate sport games.
NextFood incubation program for young entrepreneurs from 13 Villages
In October 2021, eight young entrepreneurs (four females, four males) joined the first two of three incubation cycles which support the development and growth of start-ups in agribusiness and agroindustry. Graduating start-ups will be able to develop their own Minimum Viable Product (MVP), learn how to manage their finances, how to market their products as well as reach customers, and how to develop their sales competencies. The first cycle focuses on business topics such as marketing, business modeling, finance, and feasibility studies. In the second cycle, the participants developed a prototype of their ideas using the fab lab. The ideas of the eight young entrepreneurs were in the direction of cattle and chicken breeding, mushroom and organic orange cultivation.
People from the 13 Villages: Mr. Mohamed Kamal
“I was growing up in one of the 13 villages and learned in its schools. I am currently working in these schools and I feel responsible towards my community” said Mr. Mohamed Kamal, social worker in the Salem Allam School which is one of the 13 villages’ schools. Mohamed Kamal was born in Galfeena close to SEKEM, and is currently supporting various projects in SEKEM and around the 13 villages. He used to work at SEKEM Development Foundation as a social worker and community service activities coordinator from 2005 to 2013. Now he is one of the young entrepreneurs in the 13 villages and has his own cattle breeding project. Besides that, he engages in community work surrounding activities which support the 13 villages’ field work. Currently he is actively involved in the cooperation between Heliopolis University Rural Development Centre (HU-RDC) and schools from the 13 villages. It is people like Mohamed Kamal who make the activities possible and who carry the sustainable development idea of SEKEM into the 13 villages and by that also into the other villages in Egypt.
Mohammed Anwar, Project Manager
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