Building a dreamland in one’s

Famed for its sweet Osmanthus syrup, Nanzhuang in Miaoli County attracts large crowds of tourists during weekends; however, this lively little town in Miaoli has one secret very few people know about. Located in the mountains of Miaoli, Nanzhuang lacks educational resources and the highest level of educational institution available is junior high. The fact that many young people leave the area to work and study causes a serious outflow of young people. Fortunately, one group of college youngsters carrying a dream and expertise returned back to Nanzhuang this summer with a plan to regenerate the area. 

The youngsters started with literally nothing and have personally built Salt and Light Workshop (盐和光工作室) one step at a time. The venue currently hosts a variety of art classes to provide a diverse arts experience to residents and children. All their hard effort has won the hearts and minds of parents and elders in the community and at the weekend market, which includes a jumble sale, a group of women from the community provides much-needed support. Passionate about the next generation’s education and in creating a new future for the community, these youngsters have returned home armed with a new kind of power to topple the disparity between urban and rural areas.

Building a dreamland in one’s homeland 

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(以下为中文对照)

南庄青年梦想构筑 带主修返乡

Building a dreamland in one’s 以桂花酿闻名的苗栗南庄,每到假日都吸引大批民众,带进观光热潮,但热闹的苗栗山城也有不为人知凄凉的一面。南庄位在苗栗县山区,因为教育资源缺乏,最高学府只有到国中,许多年轻人都出外工作、求学,造成青年人口严重外流,但一群带着梦想与专长的大学生,在今年暑假,开启了返乡计画。

盐和光工作室从无到有,一砖一瓦,都是学生们亲手打造,目前已开设各式艺术课程,带给居民及孩子多元的艺文体验。这样的努力也被乡镇的父母长辈看见了,在假日市集中,除了有学生们的义卖活动,也有来自一群社区妈妈的支持。青年返乡,要用新的力量颠覆城乡差距,关心下一代的教育、开创社区的未来。

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