Since the inception of Determined to Develop, the logistical challenge of receiving goods in northern Malawi became painfully evident. Matt soon realized that purchasing locally was not an option for many of the much needed items, and shipping piece mail from the states was very cost prohibitive. The objective then was to collect much needed items and ship them all at once to Malawi, where Matt and his volunteers could unload, sort, store and then distribute according to the various project needs of Determined To Develop.
For the past four years Matt Maroon, Lynn Maroon and Tom Philipps were working to accumulate much needed tangible items for the benefit of the people of Malawi. These items were stored in various locations, most notably the properties and residences of Tom and Lynn.
In June 2012 Roy and Shelli Burgoon joined the effort after visiting Maji Zuwa. In the fall of 2012 several more volunteers were recruited in order to coordinate the collection of donated items for the container. Roy, Shelli, Tom and Lynn all redoubled their efforts to secure a used container as well as donor for the shipping costs. Without a container, the project was unable to proceed in earnest.
In January 2013, a container and shipper were secured at no cost. These two items represent the largest expenses associated with this project. In February 2013 a used 40 foot high cube container was unloaded by crane onto a donor’s commercial parking lot in Avon, Ohio where it stayed until being picked up for final shipment.
With a container on the ground, Determined to Develop volunteers could finally begin to collect donated items and load them into the container prior to shipment. Initial concerns of collecting enough items to fill the cavernous container soon gave way to the real problem of deciding which of the items collected were going to make it onto the container and which ones would have to stay behind.
Through a network of donors providing services in-kind, such as delivery trucks, crane services, ect., Determined To Develop volunteers were able to fill the container for shipment in late June 2013. This involved unloading and repacking the container several times in order to make sure we maximized the value of the items being sent as well as utilizing the limited space.
The container arrived at Determined to Develop on October 3, 2013. Over 895 separate items ranging from feeding program supplies to school building materials were unloaded and distributed in Malawi according to the various project needs of Determined to Develop.
The people of Karonga, Malawi would like to thank the donors and volunteers of Determined to Develop for making this project possible and successful.
Tawonga chomene (We thank you)