The Voice of Future Generations: Reflections of the Youth on SIF Egypt 2019

1346 898 World Social Initiative Forum

Weeks after SIF Egypt 2019: Unfolding Individual Potential for the Future, we asked the youth volunteers & young participants how the whole Forum was for them, what insights & impulses did they take away from the whole experience, & what are the next steps forward in unfolding their individual potential.


 Hadeel Bahaa, 28, Egypt | Student, Master’s Degree in Education at Cairo University

I have become more eager to create a curriculum that can integrate arts for healing purposes in communities that suffer from intellectual disabilities & to have a sort of “healing educational material” that can be tailored to each learner’s needs. This can be through art, or movement, or building something – a material that can detect the potential of its learners & be designed accordingly. I also came out of the Forum dreaming to live in an eco-sustainable village that provides nonformal education to its members, where movement & working with one’s own hands is the mode of education. I intend to bring that into learning environments & spread the idea of experiential learning among educators.


Mohammed El-Banby, 21, Egypt |  Student, Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration  at Tanta University & Member of EGIC (Egyptian Genius Innovation Community)

It was a great experience for me to take this practical step to promote natural products in our booth, which do not affect the environment negatively. Also, it was a chance to spread environmental awareness among participants from all over the world. The Forum was very interactive & filled with experts who provided us a space to explore questions & answers. The intercultural exchange helped me to have a new way of looking at social work passionately. It also helped me know more about social initiatives that are going on all over the world & this really inspired me to contribute to the transformation of the world into a better place.




 Noura Khamees Hamad, 28, Egypt |  Early Childhood Educator, Online M.Ed of Innovation in Education at the University of South Wales

SIF Egypt 2019 was a unique opportunity to network with amazing people & learn about great educational initiatives across the globe. The formal & informal discussions that took place were stimulating & uplifting. I could feel that the Forum’s energy was filled with warmth, openness & curiosity. Through the workshops, I was able to view my work from a unique perspective that has helped me to unfold my potential & develop innovative approaches in dealing with children at work & even with myself. The conversations that I had were invaluable in strengthening my commitment to value diversity & sustainability in education & to give back to my community. I am forever grateful to participate in this Forum that revealed the great effort that is being done worldwide inspired by Anthroposophy & the future work needed to continue Rudolf Steiner’s legacy.



Magdalena Ries, 31, Germany | Experiential Educator & Changemaker

I traveled all the way from Germany to Egypt to take part in SIF Egypt 2019 hosted by SEKEM. Since I was in a Waldorf school, I have been interested in getting to know this visionary project in the desert. I have always wanted to find out how Anthroposophy can contribute to global challenges & changes in a healthy, human way. So it was super interesting to experience SEKEM, to meet all these engaged people from all over the world, & to explore together how individual potential can be unfolded for the future. I got really inspired by what is already being done in this field. However, one big question is left & still forms a big question mark inside me. What is the new that wants to emerge for the future? What is the impulse of the youth to create a new future? How can we really empower everybody to speak up, to dream, to share their visions & their personal struggles? I deeply believe that we need to look at all these aspects if we really want to see the whole picture of “potential for the future”. We need to include the periphery & empower the center! Here I feel a deep wish inside my heart that we practice to listen, to be aware of each other, & to be courageous to create soul spaces – spaces where everybody feels safe, seen. That one can unfold & be!


Roxanne Johanna Ziersch, 23, Germany | Student, Bachelor’s Degree in Islamic Studies & Political Science at Martin Luther University

I experienced the conference as a sheltered space in which the guiding thought  ”Unfolding Individual Potential” could very much evolve because of the variety of contributions, of intercultural encounters, & the exhibit of different initiatives from all over the world. To relate with people who are striving in different ways for healing impulses for the world made me trust in every little step I make towards an individual contribution to the world. In gratitude, I wish to carry that strength – that I can be an inspiration to others, as how the conference was an inspiration for me, with all its colors.


Koudai Niwa, 19, Japan | Graduate, Hokkaido Steiner School

There are many adults in this world who are striving towards their dreams, goals, & various tasks. They are very cool! They look like they are shining to me. I want to shine like them, too. In order for me to be like them, I need to find goals that I can work on with passion. Due to the language barrier, I have trouble talking to other youth members. Nevertheless, they actively spoke to me & gave me a job. I felt like I could communicate with them despite the language barrier. I think we were a great team! I once again realized that English was essential to developing myself. What I was conscious of when planning the Forum was how to make effective use of the beautiful space at Heliopolis University. I created the space with the other youth volunteers so that participants could fully enjoy the beautiful landscape of the university & enjoy the Forum. I was honored to be part of the organizing team!


Inés Lauber, 36, Germany | Owner & Founder, Studio Inés Lauber

The first day of the conference was not very structured. Workshops were canceled, locations changed (due to the heavy storm, it was not possible to host outdoors), materials not prepared. Guests were late or not able to attend the workshop they planned to attend. Throughout the four days of the forum, guests & volunteers, as well as responsible organizers, got more acquainted with the location & needs. On the third & fourth day of the Forum, things seemed to run smoothly. The overall impression of the guests was positive. They were inspired by new insights through the exchange with like-minded people. The alternative & sometimes spontaneous, but very authentic input & contributing work by the youth volunteers were received very positively. The locations SEKEM & Cairo, & therefore the exchange with the Arabic culture, were for many guests interesting & enriching.



Eslam Othman Ahmed, 36, Egypt | Founder of Foreign Trade Solutions Constancy Agency for Export & Import

South Korea, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Argentina, Austria, Australia, India, Romania, & Uruguay – this was our “Dream Team” in organizing the Forum. Reflecting on what is unfolding in me after being there, I strongly believe we all have the same good side. We just need some good company, as well as a supportive/healthy environment that makes once strangers work in harmony. A team has one goal & wants to achieve it on time. We were very dynamic, cooperative, supportive & deeply understanding of the cultural diversity among us. I was focused on the logistics during the Forum. I was also giving suitable & friendly spaces where anyone can unfold his/her potential. After the Forum, I want to read more about biodynamic agriculture, social education & SEKEM’s Economy of Love. In the future, I want to use my industrial experience in the community, as I believe that import & export is another side of intercultural dialogue. 


Hibiki Kawamura, 19, Japan | Graduate, Hokkaido Steiner School

Almost every day, we young volunteers had meetings in which we shared not only what we were working on at that time but also what feelings, experiences & thoughts were living in our hearts. Every person shared whatever he/she wanted to say in earnest. In the circle, everyone is in. Emotions, sensations, current state, discovery, feelings, awareness – anything is fine. It is not that everyone has to say something. If you don’t want to, it is also fine. How nice it is to be able to have like this time together. We can create that space, be together with others even we all had different backgrounds, views. I think that it is really an effective way to open our hearts to each other, to make us calm. I’m sure this is what every single person actually needs right at this moment all over the world.  We are starving for peace & the most important thing nowadays in our society is to look into ourselves & also the world, the people around us. Have many chances to converse, communicate, understand one another. The space in which people can open their minds to others, to create that space. Through that, I think people can transform themselves & the world.


Featured photo: Narimeh Paeplow [DE]

Related Articles: Seid jung im Herzen: Forum Review by Info3 by Andrea Kreisel [DE], Creating Spaces for Individual Unfolding: SIF Egypt 2019 by Nicole Asis [PH], TRANS4M contributes an Integral Approach in SIF Egypt 2019 by Alexander Schieffer, Ph.D. [DE], Full of Confidence: Unfolding made visible every day by Nadine Greiss [EG], I-Unfolding in co-creating a Humane World by Nicole Asis [PH]

Related Video: Joan Sleigh’s reflects on SIF Egypt 2019 video by Juan Bottero [AR] & Narimeh Paeplow [DE]

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