For many years, an agricultural training has been offered at SEKEMs Vocational Training Center (VTC). Of course, Biodynamic farming is practiced at SEKEM, but due to state regulations it was difficult to offer neither an appropriate curriculum, nor the study materials existed. The Vriendenkring SEKEM (the Dutch association of SEKEM Friends) is now supporting SEKEM in establishing a true Biodynamic agricultural training at the VTC. Hendrik Jan Bakker from the Dutch SEKEM Friends reports on the process of the new training approach.
When Helmy Abouleish visited the Dutch Biodynamic Vocational Training Centre Warmonderhof in 2015, its lecturer Ruud Hendriks offered to make available Warmonderhof’s curriculum. I translated it into English so that SEKEM could adapt it to local conditions and the Egyptian state regulations. Just when I had finished, we were approached by Marjan Smits, who offered SEKEM to assist in setting up a new curriculum.
Marjan studied Biodynamic agriculture at Landwijzer in Belgium and had set up an Organic farm in Italy together with a young couple, who also run an organic restaurant and provide courses in the field of Organic farming, sustainable food produce and healthy cooking. Marjan went to SEKEM for two weeks in December 2016 and spoke with the agricultural teachers to see what was already there and what needed further development.
Marjan: “The teachers really want a good Biodynamic curriculum with study materials, and they also expressed the wish to be further trained, especially in their style of information transfer. SEKEM would like to introduce a more interactive teaching style, encouraging students to participate actively in the theory and practice lessons, and develop responsibility for the land entrusted to them, for example by giving the students responsibility for the school farm.”
[Photo via SEKEM | web site]