New Waldorf school in the Egyptian desert | SEKEM
SEKEM has started a new Waldorf school in the desert, in the oasis Wahat El-Bahareya, more than 300 kilometers southwest of Cairo. In this structurally poor region, good and accessible education will highly benefit children and their families.
SEKEM is a sustainable initiative in Belbeis near Cairo. What used to be desert in 1977, is now a thriving community with biodynamic farms, processing plants, schools and a medical center. SEKEM is now building a second community in Wahat-El-Bahareya. With the support of the 'Greening the desert' campaign, a biodynamic farm has started and is rapidly growing. The new Waldorf school, which opened in October 2021, adds much value to the community.
"Sabah Al-Kehr, good morning Selma". The 10-year-old Egyptian girl Selma is warmly welcomed by her class teacher every morning. She attends the school on the SEKEM farm in Belbeis, in a class with 30 other children. She is looking forward to a nice day at school. She particularly likes the music and eurythmy movement lessons today. There are not that many children in Egypt like Selma. Though being mandatory, the Egyptian education system is completely overloaded with classes of up to 80 children in small classrooms. One teacher often teaches two classes in one day and often (expensive) private lessons are needed to successfully complete the school. Many children end their school career far too young. This, of course, has consequences for all of Egypt. Outside the cities, the situation is even more difficult. Here children often have to visit remote schools, receive lessons at home or do not receive any lessons at all.
SEKEM recognized this problem early on. Better education, in which all talents can develop, is very urgent for fast-growing Egypt. This is one of the most important goals for SEKEM. Out of its holistic vision, SEKEM wants to support people and children to unfold their potential. Six children have already been provisionally taught by staff at the Wahat farm. As per October 2021, two combined classes with the first 20 pupils started. This start was made possible with support from SEKEM friends in Europe. The Walldorf school started in temporary classrooms. The Kindergarten started early November with 6 toddlers. The SEKEM Wahat school is expected to grow rapidly to 60 and 120 pupils by the end of next year.
However, SEKEM cannot grow this desert school on its own. With the support of many friends and Waldorf schools from Europe, SEKEM aims to offer those 120 or more pupils the opportunity to go to the brand-new Waldorf School in the desert.
The local government and many parents in this area are very happy with the private initiative. The SEKEM school is open to all children from the region, regardless of their social background. Thanks to solidarity, donations and sponsoring, children whose parents are unable to pay the school fees or to pay them in full, can attend the SEKEM Waldorf School.
In the start-up phase in Wahat El-Bahareya, the SEKEM Development Foundation contributes more than 300 euros per pupil per semester to get the school up and running. As the school grows in the coming years, these costs will decrease. The Dutch SEKEM Friends Association, together with other organizations, wish to financially support this new Waldorf school and offer more and more children the opportunity to receive good education in order for them to develop themselves and their country.
SEKEM is very happy with any support for this new Waldorf School project in Wahat!
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Many many thanks for all donations sofar ! We do hope that many more people and schools will support the SEKEM Wahat school !
The school started October 9th. With two combined groups (class 1-3 and class 4-6) with total 20 pupils. The first teacher was appointed and received a dedicated training. Teachers from the existing school in Belbeis are intially providing on-site support and coaching to the team in Wahat. Next to the two combined classes, the Kindergarten (nursery) started November 8th with 6 little children. Temporary class rooms were made ready in the eco lodge of the SEKEM Wahat farm. There is the ambtion to constuct a sustainable school building as soon as the SEKEM Development Foundation has realised sufficient funding.
These coordinates should show you the location of the SEKEM Wahat school and farm in google maps: