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Dongju Community Development Association

  • Date:2023-09-14

Chinese Name:東莒社區發展協會

Established: 21 November 2003

Location: Lianjiang County

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From the perspective of Taiwan Island, Matsu is a remote island, and Dongju is even more remote. However, from a historical perspective, this small island bears the imprints of different eras. It has witnessed the Chipinglong site (熾坪隴遺址), a prehistoric human civilization over 6,000 years ago; the Caiyuanli site (蔡園裡遺址) of late Tang Dynasty immigrants, the Dapu stone carvings (大埔石刻) from the late Ming Dynasty anti-Japanese resistance, the Dongquan Lighthouse (東犬燈塔) opened at the end of the Qing Dynasty, as well as the battlefield landscapes and defense works formed in response to the modern confrontation with the Chinese Communist Party. In addition, the settlement ecology that embodies the drive to survive adds to the rich historical layers, forming the unique cultural characteristics of Dongju.

The Dongju Community Development Association in Juguang Township (莒光鄉), Matsu, was officially established on November 21, 2003. It is committed to promoting community development, improving residents’ welfare, and building a peaceful and harmonious Dongju island community based on unity and mutual assistance.

Located in the border area of Matsu, Dongju Island (formerly known as Dongquan) has developed relatively slowly compared to the other three townships in Matsu. However, this has also preserved the natural resources, geographical landscapes, and historical assets of Juguang Township. Marketing Dongju and promoting local industries have always been the main focus of the association. It also maintains regional flora and fauna resources and surrounding landscapes, protects the growth environment of native plants, conducts cultivation and commercialization of economic plants, carries out industry packaging for cash crops, establishes community sales centers and online marketing channels, and creates tourism resources for sustainable operation.

The Dongju Community Development Association mobilizes resources to care for the vulnerable, providing more job opportunities for the disadvantaged and enabling them to become self-sufficient. This includes developing micro-local agricultural industries or selling local handmade products through learning specialized skills, thereby driving the local business economy. Currently, Dongju’s main products include self-produced and self-sold hibiscus-related preserved fruits, dried fruits, and tea snacks. In addition, Matsu’s unique cuisine includes red yeast rice and Matsu old wine, which the association has been producing for years with stable product quality. The association has always aimed to promote local characteristics, hoping to leave a deeper impression on visitors to Dongju.

Dongju Island has two national-level historical sites, Dapu stone carvings and the Dongju Lighthouse. The Lienchiang County Government has also designated two Eastern Min traditional settlement preservation areas (Dapu settlement and Fuzheng settlement), adding luster to the tourism development of Dongju. In order to revitalize the reuse of the grade-two historical site, Dongju Community Development Association actively invests in Dongju tourism. Through specialized guides and explanations, the association allows the public to get closer to the historical sites. The association has even developed unique souvenirs such as Dongju lighthouse-shaped night lights and clay flutes.

With over ten years of experience, the Dongju Community Development Association has achieved significant results in promoting traditional building repair projects and revitalization of idle spaces. Through cooperation with landscape architecture professors and students from universities, the association has raised local community awareness of the overall living environment and landscape maintenance, especially the issue of revitalizing settlements. The association has revitalized the once sparsely populated village, and now there are several homestays and restaurants in the area, attracting a large number of people and creating tourism resources to improve the living environment.

In response to an aging society, the Dongju Community Development Association has established the Senior Cafeteria (長青食堂) to create a comfortable living environment for the elderly and build a connection between the senior citizens and the young people in remote areas. With the cooperation of young volunteers from teenagers to middle-aged adults, the association has created a community mutual care system, allowing the elderly to grow old with dignity without having to move to other islands. The Senior Cafeteria is just the beginning, and the association also operates long-term care bases to establish a comfortable living environment for the elderly. 


By using communal dining as a friendly communication platform, the association reduces the risk of dementia and disability among the elderly, forming a caring community where the young and the elderly live together. The association also hopes to promote cross-island exchanges and services for the youth, allowing the local elderly to have more intergenerational communication and cultural stimulation. Due to the lack of a care system in the area, the association aims to establish a long-term care base with a systematic and institutionalized approach, improving the situation where elderly people are forced to leave the island and seek placement in Nangan or Taiwan proper where professional social welfare units are available.

(Image: Dongju Community Development Association)