Many of our 2020 camp experiences have been postponed due to the Covid-19 virus. We look forward to continue the gatherings when it is safe to do so. Please check our website or subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates. We commend the efforts by so many of us to limit the spread of the virus and send deep thanks to the healthcare workers across the globe taking care of those most affected. We see our work of bringing balance back to ecosystems as more important than ever. Our team is busy building our organizational capacity during this time so that we can share the message of regenerative land management even further. We are grateful for your support and look forward to seeing you at camp in the future.

Camp Sekem Wahat

Wahat-Bahareya, Egypt

Camp Sekem Wahat

10 years ago the SEKEM farm in Wahat-Bahareya was established – with the aim of bringing the

desert to life by restoring the ecosystem and building a new community that serves it.

SEKEM-Wahat is part of the Egyptian development initiative “SEKEM”, that has worked with unwavering dedication for more than 43 years and transforms hostile desert landscapes into functional ecosystems and sustainable communities. 

Based on SEKEM’s vision, the initiative is primarily relying on biodynamic cultivation of desertificated land. We believe that caring about natural soil management and organic plant growing is fundamental for sustainable development and people’s livelihood is ensured alongside. 

Inherently, the SEKEM community is based on an integrative and holistic perspective of sustainable development in every single activity. Apart from the environmental work SEKEM is building new sustainable and self sufficient communities, providing artistic activities for workers, families and community members, providing school education and is working on infrastructure improvements. 

Join our camp! Become part of a social innovation that integrates ecological, economic, cultural and community life to restore desertland. 

Camper Opportunities

Restoring the Desert
Our main work on site is reclaiming desert soil and creating functional land. We would love to have long term volunteers staying in SEKEM-Wahat , but we are also happy about any short or medium term support.

Related activities

  • Tree planting 
  • Seed saving 
  • Compost making 
  • Soil restoration 
  • Human development  (core programme)
  • Regenerative gardening for food self sufficiency
  • Water retention 
  • First Aid 
  • Construction work
  • Renewable energy
  • Waste management
  • Community building and governance 

Workshops and Ecosystem Retreat

  • You’re free to participate in our pre announced workshops
  • Come to enjoy the Egyptian Western Desert where nature meets progressive forms of being, working and learning together 

Take part in one of many workshops at the time and learn how to build an Ecosystem Restoration Camp.

We will soon announce dates of workshops for: 

  • Green building 
  • Biodynamic farming techniques
  • Physical therapy
  • Permaculture Design Ecosystem Restoration Courses
  • Eurhythmy- Rhythms, Body Percussion, Skills and more
  • Eurhythmy performance, “Gamil & Gamila”

What to Expect at Camp Sekem Wahat

SEKEM-Wahat campsite is a place where your personal interests, skills, visions and talents are always warmly welcomed gifts. We appreciate hands-on people who take their own initiative to make that place continuously better.

Working in the SEKEM-Wahat camp means that you will collaborate with SEKEM’s mainly Egyptian employees, volunteers/interns and engaged people from all over the world. 

Expect the unexpected!

Working in the Egyptian Desert – in a place where a lot still has to be established – means that not everything can be planned in advance. Flexibility and trust in the process as well as initiative are probably the most important attributes that are required.

Living in the Egyptian desert means that you will be confronted with a cold temperature in winter and high temperature variation over the day. Nights are usually quite moderate in summer/spring while it can move up to more than 45°C during daytime. We always recommend you to take this issue seriously. Stay hydrated and out of the sun! To protect everyone from being exposed to the midday heat in summer, we’re always taking a long break during the hottest hours of the day.

Arabic culture onboarding
We will take you on an on-boarding journey to learn about different aspects of Arabic local culture and learn about Bedouin traditions .

Beduin-Desert Kitchen
Our kitchen is almost fully organic freshly picked up from our permaculture garden from the campsite. Our local kitchen chef prepares our meals freshly every day, except for weekends where we all gather and share our cooking skills. 

After working hours
After work you can enjoy going to al-Harra where you can meet local people, enjoy Egyptian tea or a qahwa turki (turkish coffee) and have a real beudiun culture exchange. It is located 20 minutes away from our camp.

You can also go to a bigger city called El-Bawity, which is a 1 hour drive from the Camp. There you can enjoy natural hot spring water. 

On request we can organize trips to the famous white and black desert, which is 120 km from the Campsite. Costs need to be covered by the participants. 

At the moment basic telephone and internet services are available on certain locations of the campsite.

About Camp Sekem Wahat

The SEKEM-Wahat camp is located in the Bahariya oasis in the Egyptian Western-Desert – a 5 hours ride, alongside sand dunes and rusty train tracks, from the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The camp is surrounded by a beautiful desert mountain landscape right on the edge of the ecosystem of the Bahariya oasis.

The SEKEM-Wahat camp is part of the SEKEM farm in Belbeis . At the camp we are already developing:

  • Home schooling 
  • Basic Medical center with general practitioner visits twice a month
  • Compost center
  • Pivot irrigation system
  • Beduin campsite with a mountain view
  • Permaculture garden 
  • Artistic activities such as painting, body movement etc. 

Further explanation of costs
We can offer basic shared rooms at the campsite, but in spring you can also come with your own tent or you can use our bedium mountain view tents.

Prices are available upon request. We expect roughly 1500 EGP / month / person for food and 1500 EGP / month / person for accommodation. 

The latter cost depends strongly on what accommodation you need and what we can offer. 

Costs also depend on the time you stay on the farm. Of course, we are also willing to engage medium and long-term community members individual agreements can be discussed. 

Who is Needed

The camp is still in its early days and we are looking for people who have experience with: 

  • Gardening
  • Composting
  • Greenhouse building
  • Integrative medicine
  • Artistic work
  • Water supply system
  • Sewer system construction
  • Teaching vocational skills
  • Children / Adults educational skills
  • Bringing awareness of waste management and hygiene standards
  • Nursery 
  • Media work (Photography; Video making; Graphic design)
  • Arabic language skills are of great benefit (not required)

If you don’t have experience you are very welcome to learn with us through hands-on work!

Vision and Socio-economic context

The overall vision for SEKEM-Wahat is related to community building through land reclamation and biodynamic agricultural activities. Thereby we are following a holistic view on humans potential to live and to shape their surrounding environment in a natural and sustainable way. 

Due to a lack of job opportunities, infrastructure systems, food insecurities, SEKEM wants to face today’s issues by offering stable jobs, education, vocational training, medical aid and a natural environment that suits the needs of a flourishing community.

You can find further information about the project greening the desert here

For general information about SEKEM its vision goals and other ongoing projects look here.

 Established Camp

Next Camp

To be announced.

Organizing Partners
Facilities
_0035_Campsite_Basic

Camping (Basic)

_0022_Kitchen

Kitchen (Vegetarian)

_0032_Sanitation_Basic

Sanitation – None

_0028_Electricity

Electricity

_0029_Wifi

Wifi – None

_0027_Cellphone_Network

Cell Service

Restoration Activities
_0013_Swale_Building

Water Retention

Icon01

Tree Planting

_0014_Composting

Compost making

_0011_Food_planting

Soil Restoration

_0015_Agricultural_practice

Food Growing

_0007_Cultural_experiences

Community Building

_0034_Campsite_Advanced

Natural Building

How to apply

Please complete the form below to express your interest in joining the team at Camp Sekem Wahat

What you must do to ensure your own safety at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp

Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.

Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.

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Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation / Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020

Contact

Wechelerweg 37
7431 PD Diepenveen
The Netherlands
info@ecosystemrestorationcamps.org

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