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A Second Trip to TtukTtakTtukTtak
Written by Rachel Lee | Published. 2019.10.27 17:35 | Count : 301

This fall, I took another visit to TtukTtakTtukTtak’s charity projects in Wangshimri. TtukTtakTtukTtak is an organization founded by the Urban Design department at Hanyang Cyber University (HYCU) to renovate the homes of the needy families of Seoul. (Think Habitat for Humanity.). I had stopped by and helped during one of the first TtukTtakTtukTtak projects in 2018, but I was curious to see how much the organization had grown over the past year or so.

A photo of the author helping paint the doors for the renovated home (Photo courtesy of Rachel Lee)

I feel that Ttukttakttukttak is distinct from other charity organizations because they aim to improve the lives of the people around us that we may not have known needed a helping hand, such as sexual abuse victims or children growing up under alcoholic fathers. Most other charity organizations I knew in the past focused on victims of natural disasters or traveled to third-world countries instead of focusing on individuals right here in Seoul. In addition, because TtukTtakTtukTtak was founded by experts in architecture and design, I feel that the homes renovated by TtukTtakTtukTtak are safer and more architecturally sound than the work of volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.

A group photo of all the volunteers that worked on renovations during the August project
(Photo courtesy of Rachel Lee)

Although I also wrote about Ttuk-ttakTtuk-ttak last summer, I felt like the organization was worth writing about once again because of the public attention it has garnered over the past year. Last summer, it was still a nascent organization that had little media coverage or presence on campus. A year later, it has won multiple awards from university officials and been covered in various Korean media outlets. The students and professors in the Urban Design department at HYCU aren’t just “raising awareness” or giving away money to charity as most other service organizations on campus do. They’re using the knowledge and skills gained during class, and in the process proving that what they are learning at school can help transform the world.

A photo of the apartment bathroom before and after the TtukTtakTtukTtak team renovated the home
(Photo courtesy of Rachel Lee)

I found it especially touching how understanding and empathetic the neighbors of the families getting their house renovated by TtukTtakTtukTtak were. Even during the few hours I spent helping out, the sounds of drilling machines and power saws were deafeningly loud. I couldn’t imagine having to live with such disturbing noises for weeks. Still, the neighbors were incredibly courteous and accommodating. As a small gesture of gratefulness, the Ttuk-ttakttuk-ttak team passed around rice-cake around the neighborhood to thank the residents for their patience and support.

A photo of a TtukTtakTtukTtak volunteer working with electrical drills
(Photo courtesy of Rachel Lee) 

All in all, I was pleased to find out how much TtukTtakTtukTtak had grown in stature since I worked for it last year and am excited to see what other changes and accolades will come to the organization in the coming days.




Rachel Lee 
Grade 11
Seoul International School

Rachel Lee  student_reporter@dherald.com

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