In January 2015 Karin Bruers visited Mkanda Village in Malawi. She discovered that the village was in need of help, because there was starvation coming. For three days there were continuous heavy rainstorms. This means that one third of Malawi is completely flooded. Hundreds of people drown, houses are washed away and most of the corn fields are destroyed. The result is fatal: a severe starvation from October 2015 to April 2016. Only then will there be a new harvest. But this wouldn’t happen if it were up to Karin. She bought enough corn for 175 families and tried to prevent the starvation. “We can’t guarantee you access to heaven, because unfortunately we’re not able to, but we can guarantee that we’ll keep an entire village on the map with our action”. And together with many donors she succeeded.

In Ravenna, Italië wordt jaarlijks het mozaïek festival georganiseerd. Social Sofa was in oktober 2015  uitgenodigd om deel te nemen aan het festival. We stuurden 6 Social Sofa’s naar Italië waarvan één ter plekke werd gemozaïekt. Karin Bruers heeft een presentatie gegeven over het ontstaan van Social Sofa. De Social Sofa’s hebben een mooie plek gekregen in de stad en zijn nog steeds te bezichtigen.

American social entrepreneur Mike Brady, CEO of Greyston Bakery who makes the delicious brownies in the ice cream of Ben & Jerry, visited our atelier in Tilburg.

Karin Bruers gave an inspirational TEDx in Maastricht about Social Sofa. She tells how Social Sofa started, about the philosophy and developments in the future. For Karin Social Sofa means empathy, seeing each other, speaking to each other, to be there for each other, to not be or feel lonely but most of all to do it together. 

On October 10th Karin Bruers and Alham Omar Hotaki, the CEO of CRIDA, signed an agreement for a woman empowerment project in Afghanistan incorporating know-how in the field of mosaic. The knowledge obtained by Social Sofa will be shared with entrepreneurial Afghan women to support the restructuring of the environment, neighborhoods, mosques, buildings and walls. Karin Bruers will also contribute in increasing the Afghan mosaic market. Thanks to Moheb, an Afghan refugee working at the Social Sofa studio, she was able to get in contact with the Afghan authorities.

The portraits of the Afghan President and the First Lady as created by Social Sofa are displayed below.

In 2016, it was still too complicated and expensive to export one single sofa to Rosario, Argentina. A mosaic team, there under guidance of Laura Galetto, began refurbishing a town square with mosaic. This was a great success. The first talks were held this summer about establishing a Social Sofa atelier there too.