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 Opens New Technology Center 1
Determined to Develop Opens New Technology Center 1
Determined to Develop Opens New Technology Center 2
Determined to Develop Opens New Technology Center 1Determined to Develop Opens New Technology Center 2

Determined to Develop opens new technology center

Most schools in Malawi struggle to provide enough basic resources such as textbooks, desks, and even teachers. The vast majority of schools in Malawi do not possess technological resources, and are yet to introduce basic computer literacy into their curriculum. Even fewer households have computers, and so the level of usage in the general population remains extremely low.

According to latest estimates from The World Bank and the International Telecommunication Union, there are just 5.8 internet users per 100 people in the population, leaving access in Malawi amongst the lowest in the world. The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II outlines the goal “to enhance the contribution of research, science and technology to national productivity and competitiveness”, so we at Determined to Develop are very excited about the new ICT Centre here at Maji Zuwa- and pleased to report progress upon this groundbreaking project.

Thanks to generous support from our donors, Determined to Develop has been able to construct a brand new building which will soon provide many students with their first access to modern computing. The centre is now in its final stages of completion- with the walls already plastered and all the wiring completed, we are just in the process of sourcing the last critical component- computers for the room!

Once furnished the space will become an exciting new resource for the students here to utilize. It will be a tremendous help for them in their studies and greatly improve their capability to research, as well as improving their ICT skills. Such knowledge hugely improves employability and enhances the opportunities that are available in a modernizing economy. All leading development authorities are committed to improving access to these skills.

As the World Health Organization’s African Health Observatory notes: “There is a need to modernize the Malawian educational system through the widespread deployment and exploitation of ICT to facilitate the delivery of educational services at all levels of the educational system and to transform Malawi into an ICT-literate society.”

The need for these skills is also recognized in the forthcoming UN Sustainable Development Goals- with Target 9.5c stating the aim to “Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020”.

Once finished the centre will not only be enjoyed by all of the boys living with us at Maji Zuwa, but also all of the other sponsored students who can always be seen on campus studying, socializing and assisting with chores. The development will to our knowledge be the first of its kind in the immediate local area. Hopefully it is just a small glimpse of things to come for Northern Malawi.

Determined to Develop is seeking hardware and software to complete this project. If you would like to help us with a donation, please click on the button at the bottom of this post.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)