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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 The Maji Zuwa Girls Group 1
Determined to Develop The Maji Zuwa Girls Group 1
Determined to Develop The Maji Zuwa Girls Group 2
Determined to Develop The Maji Zuwa Girls Group 3
Determined to Develop The Maji Zuwa Girls Group 1Determined to Develop The Maji Zuwa Girls Group 2Determined to Develop The Maji Zuwa Girls Group 3

Determined to Develop the Maji Zuwa Girl’s Group

The Maji Zuwa Girl’s Group continues to run successfully, and has now incorporated a series of hands-on, skills-based lessons from different experts in the village. The group has so far learned how to make traditional pots, weave mats from grass found in the area, and have also been planting a variety of flowers.

The girls have also taken part in a workshop, run by a local Peace Corps Volunteer teaching them to sew reusable sanitary pads. Disposable sanitary pads and tampons are often unavailable or unaffordable for girls in the local area. This can lead to them missing school during their menstrual cycle or using methods which endanger their wellbeing. The pad-making session also included a reproductive health lesson that builds on what they are taught in school, making sure our girls have the knowledge necessary to stay healthy.

The Tilipo Girls Group, a group for our younger students in grades 6 and 7, recently performed a fashion show at Maji Zuwa. All the girls decorated their own T-shirt and worked the catwalk to show off their creative styles. There were also a few dances and songs performed, as well as the Malawi National Anthem.

All the classes focus on using local and readily available materials and aim to give the girls some new skills, while also providing a bit of fun!

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)