skip to Main Content
How We Work Determined to Develop Malawi

At Determined to Develop (D2D), we take a collaborative approach to our work, and believe that those who live in the area are best able to assess needs and create solutions for the community. We do not impose what we think should be solutions from the top-down, but rather work with community members from the ground-up. Our commitment to collaboration allows us to maximize impact and assist in the development of Chilumba in a responsible and positive way.

All our projects have community ownership, which is demonstrated in two ways:

First, communities are enlisted to identify their needs and solutions, which becomes the basis of our work. We participate in regular village needs assessment meetings attended by Village Headmen (chiefs), local village development committees, women’s groups, civil society leaders, and other community members. It is from these meetings that the concept, planning, and implementation stages of any of our projects begin. Furthermore, all work is vetted by community stakeholders.

Second, communities contribute to the running of each project. Our approach emphasizes the personal responsibility and accountability of all partners involved. This grassroots model for development utilizes local knowledge and ensures that we work in collaboration with traditional leaders and community-based networks, respecting cultural values and traditions. This process is assisted by the community liaison officer, who ensures that we stay fully engaged with everything taking place in the villages and vice versa.

We have expanded our programming, but maintain our focus on a relatively small geographic area of Chilumba, Malawi. Remaining a local organization has a number of benefits. We have developed a strong rapport with stakeholders in the area, which helps us to run our many projects effectively. Working on the ground also allows us to have close and on-going monitoring of all projects, and we pride ourselves on being able to adapt projects where necessary and learn through evaluation. This approach also ensures that all money donated is used in the most cost-effective way, as we have minimal overhead costs.

As a development organization, it is important to us that our initiatives are in-line with those of broader development strategies, both in the national and international context. These strategies include the Karonga District Development Plan, Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III, and the United Nation’s Standard Development Goals. Each of these strategies includes specific actions for improved youth education. By aligning our programs with the initiatives in these development strategies, we ensure that our programs are following the best fit for the development of Malawi.

Learn more about how D2D works by clicking below:

Determined to Develop Completes Phulano Nursery School 1
Determined to Develop Completes Phulano Nursery School 1
The new Phulano Nursery School built by Determined to Develop
Determined to Develop Completes Phulano Nursery School 4
The old Phulano Nursery School which desperately needed to be rebuilt
Determined to Develop Completes Phulano Nursery School 2
Inside of the new Phulano Nursery School
Determined to Develop Completes Phulano Nursery School 3
Phulano Nursery School teachers and students
Determined to Develop Completes Phulano Nursery School 1Determined to Develop Completes Phulano Nursery School 4Determined to Develop Completes Phulano Nursery School 2Determined to Develop Completes Phulano Nursery School 3

Determined to Develop completes Phulano Nursery School

Determined to Develop is delighted to report the successful completion of the Phulano Nursery School project. This is the second nursery school Determined to Develop has built, the first being the Tilipo nursery in 2013. Construction is part of a holistic nursery education program run by Determined to Develop, which also provides support for administration, teaching, and a feeding program at four nurseries in Chilumba.

After a sustained fundraising campaign, we were able to address the nursery’s need for a proper, purpose-built venue. The nursery was previously run from a disused house in a state of disrepair, so the completion of construction in July was a real turning point for the children. They can now begin their education in an appropriate setting. The finished project provided a brand new double classroom block, complete with a sizable storage space, so that both teaching resources and equipment for the feeding program can be safely stored.

The nursery school was financially supported by Determined to Develop, but the community themselves provided the majority of the labor and constructed the bricks for the building, in line with our policy of community contribution to all of our projects. The community also received assistance through our commitment as a project partner to the UK Government-funded International Citizen Service. ICS volunteers over successive cycles contributed to the construction and helped to decorate the walls with a mixture of blackboard paint and fun, colorful learning aids.

The children of the village are now enjoying their new nursery, and their lessons are greatly enhanced by the improved resources. Both development agencies and education authorities concur that Nursery Education gives children the mental and physical stimulation they need to develop and reach their full potential in life. Research by the World Bank in 2013 found that children enrolled in a nursery school were better prepared to start primary school; were more likely to start at the correct age; were more likely to enroll in primary school; and were more engaged in the learning process. We hope that the improved setup in Phulano will help to give the children the best possible start in life.

However, there are still many more children that do not yet have this opportunity, and there is still much work to be done. With this nursery now flourishing, we are next hoping to replicate the project for other local nurseries. Both Luvilimbo and Tiyeze are local villages that have a pressing need for assistance, with children currently being taught in makeshift structures. We want to provide more youngsters with the learning environment that everyone deserves, give them a proper start in their education, and set them on the road to lift themselves out of poverty.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)