In Seoul, due to the moisture and humidity of the summer rainy season, mold tends to spread on wallpaper and flooring, which many needy families cannot replace for lack of money. However, in September, replacement wallpaper and flooring materials will be installed in the homes of 530 families living on low incomes. With Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving, fast approaching, work will be carried out to ensure that struggling neighbors will be able to hold their memorial services in a clean home and that warm, caring neighbors can share their affection for them. Notably, as the follow-up to the ‘Desired Ondol Project’, ‘Desired Ondol, Making Happy Rooms’ is on its way to becoming a company. This project is not being executed with the company’s budget, but rather has been made possible by generous-spirited Seoul citizens, who play a key role by making donations or volunteering their time. Gaenari Wallpaper (GNI), Tooban, and other companies supplied sufficient wallpaper for 3,000 families and flooring for 500 families.
From July to late August in Seoul’s twenty-five municipal districts, 2,037 volunteers and 111 different welfare centers and other private organizations (209 organizations in total) helped 1,114 families, including elderly people living alone, single-parent families, children being raised by their grandparents, and abandoned children, by replacing damaged wallpaper and flooring, cleaning homes, and carrying out simple home repairs. They aim to have helped a total of 3,000 families by the end of this year.
Gwanak-gu has pushed ahead with the ‘Making Happy Rooms’ company using the 18,000,000 won in support funds given by the Gwanak-gu Community Cooperative Council; Jungnang-gu’s community has formed the Happy Room Peace Corps, which to date has completed 110 ‘happy rooms’; and Guro-gu has formed an agreement with local construction companies and together installed screen doors and windows for 300 families.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said, “I’m delighted that our struggling neighbors will be able to celebrate Chuseok in clean homes,” adding, “In order to continue creating warm communities where neighbors look after one another, such public-private cooperative efforts should be expanded continuously.”