16 August, 2016, at 5 pm
The Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., invites you to the Sofa Solution event on 16 August at 5 pm at the Romani kafenava Roma restaurant at 34 Gorkega Street in Maribor. The main guests at the event will be Carla and Heli, who set off on a hitchhiking journey from Ankara, Turkey, on 25 July.
Carla and Heli’s hitchhiking journey with the sofa takes them from Ankara to Vienna, through all the major European cities where they have short stops, and on 16 August they will arrive in Maribor, where they will be welcomed and entertained by the Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., at the Romani kafenava (Romani kafenava).
Tentative programme of the event Hitchhiking with a sofa – stopover in Maribor:
- Presentation of the participating organisations and the Sofa Stop/Sofa Solution programme.Presentation of the Building Bridges for Refugee Children organisation, its goals, beginnings and activities.
- Discussion – how education can influence the integration of refugees, local initiatives and examples of voluntary activities from different countries.
- Group dinner.
Carla and Heli are planning to hitchhike through 13 countries as part of the Sofa Solution project. Their main objective is to discuss and raise awareness about the importance of education for refugees and refugee children and to raise funds for refugee children’s activities run by Building Bridges for Refugee Children in the Keçioren neighbourhood of Ankara, Turkey.
They started their journey on 25 July 2016 in Ankara, Turkey, from where they travelled to Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria, where they plan to finish their journey on 25 August 2016. Their stops are in all major cities and they will also stop in Maribor on 16 August.
What is the Sofa Solution?
It is a sofa hitchhiking from Ankara to Vienna to raise money to fund the activities of Building Bridges for Refugee Children in Ankara. Nowadays, children don’t even have access to schools because they can’t afford public transport, so BBRC has gathered a group of volunteers to teach them. On the way to Vienna, the Sofa Hitchhiking project will stimulate conversations and inspire local communities to educate refugees.
Why hitchhiking with a sofa?
Travelling with something that is usually rarely moved is a burden. The sofa thus represents the daily struggle refugees face on their journeys to Europe. At the same time, the sofa is also what brings people together. The sofa is a place where the family gathers in the evening to discuss everyday things and also life.
The idea came to Carla and Hela in April in Istanbul, when they were on their way to a concert and saw an old sofa in the rubbish on the way. Immediately the question of what the sofa had been through came to them, followed immediately by the idea of travelling with a sofa. They were immediately convinced that such an extreme, bizarre and unusual move would attract a lot of attention. So why not help someone?
Heli is Heli – like a helicopter without the copter. She is passionate about unconventional ideas, she is solution-oriented. She says that we can rant about things we can’t change, but it won’t change anything. Action, on the other hand, can make a difference. She likes to read and grow arugula on her windowsill; she likes to discuss ideas; she looks for solutions. After every conversation, she secretly wishes she had been an inspiration to someone.
Originally from Pisa, Italy, Carla thinks that, like the tower of Pisa, her life does not run in a straight line. She is a student and volunteer, looking forward to starting her Master’s degree in Sustainable Development. She started volunteering years ago with her children, and has continued in a thousand different ways. Volunteering to her means protecting human values. She says that we don’t need pocket money to promote ethics. Carla is a traveller – it would be too risky to close the door to a foreign country. After all this time, she says of herself that she is no longer just Italian, but a citizen of the world.