Thirteen Villages Project
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 received campaigns and actions for their development.
The project included gathering, separating and recycling waste, building sanitary rooms, raising awareness on health through medical convoys, training on Biodynamic agriculture and composting, restorations and maintenance of buildings, illiteracy classes, scholarships and employment for children with special needs, and supporting small projects.
Encouraged by the great results and improvement from the previous project, SEKEM and Heliopolis University have decided to reinitiate the project with the students, as well as the teachers, professors, and staff, building on the first project’s experience and knowledge of the area. The first step of the project is data collection through questionnaires and surveys, to plan for the most efficient development points. In order to provide the villagers with the best opportunities, some of the services have already started, such as the composting training for instance.
With the help of the Heliopolis University academic staff, the questionnaires have been prepared to measure and identify the required development fields in that area. The students have begun their training and fieldwork in SEKEM’s Medical Center which serves the residents of the 13 villages surrounding SEKEM main farm. For this first phase, 71 university students, and 19 school students are involved, more than half of which are girls.
The project is an opportunity for the thirteen villages to improve their living conditions and to create job opportunities; but it is also a chance for the students to get involved in community work, to find ways through their fields of studies to serve people and their country.