Determined to Develop was founded in 2009 as a grassroots, non-profit organization using education as a primary tool to break the cycle of extreme poverty in Malawi, Africa. Determined to Develop is registered in the United States as a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization.
Its founder, Matt Maroon, is a graduate of the University of Dayton who, after spending two years volunteering in rural Malawi, went home with a renewed purpose: to start an organization to assist in development initiatives like those of which he had been a part. After finishing his graduate degree, Matt moved to an even more rural part of Malawi and began laying the foundations for what would soon be Determined to Develop (D2D).
Matt and a small team consisting of three former students and a former colleague, spent their first year living in mud houses to, slowly at first, build the infrastructure needed to support the project. At the same time, they held meetings with chiefs, village development committees, women’s groups, civil society leaders, government stakeholders, and even the kings of tribes to discuss shared goals for development. These meetings established education as the area’s top development priority, and solidified D2D’s strong commitment and partnership with the community.
As D2D gained a few donations, it was able to start helping a small amount of students with school fees. With increased donations, so too did the amount of beneficiaries D2D was able to help increase. Maintaining its commitment to incorporating community members in all aspects of the projects, D2D has been able to expand its programming to benefit thousands of people in Northern Malawi and beyond.
Since 2009, D2D has:
- sponsored over 1,500 students through school.
- provided a home for over 100 orphan and disadvantaged boys with its residential program.
- established four nursery schools, including the building of infrastructure, training of teachers, and curriculum development.
- fed over 2.5 million nutritious meals to youth through school feeding programs.
- constructed sanitary kitchens, school blocks, compost toilets, and the electrification of a school campus and donated school supplies and materials to local education institutions.
- installed a water system for a nearby hospital which serves over 30,000 people.
- helped establish 4 women-run businesses that are still operating to this day.
- distributed of over 33,000 trees to be planted in the community.