Determined to Develop is a charity registered in the United States as a 501(c)(3), tax-deductible organization working in Malawi, Africa.
Our on-the-ground operation is based in the rural community of Chilumba, in the Karonga district of northern Malawi and works side-by-side with members of the community to address their needs and provide assistance in the overall development of the wider region.
Determined to Develop takes a collaborative approach to our work and we believe those who live in the area are best placed to identify the needs and solutions for the community. We do not feel we should impose what we think is our “solution”.
All projects (100%) have a community ownership component, which is demonstrated in two ways. First, communities identify issues and solutions, which become the basis of our work. Second, communities contribute to the implementation or running of each project.
During the concept, planning and implementation stages of any projects, all work is vetted by community stakeholders, including Village Headmen (Chiefs), local village development committees, women’s groups, and civil society leaders. Such collaboration with the community ensures that we are meeting real, rather than perceived needs.
Our approach emphasizes the personal responsibility and accountability of Determined to Develop and all partners and stakeholders involved in our work. We see our job as providing assistance to the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society, to allow them to reach their full potential, become active citizens and have access to the bottom rung of society’s ladder so that they may climb higher utilizing their own power.
Our grassroots model for working towards development utilizes local knowledge and ensures that we work in collaboration with traditional leaders and community-based networks, respecting cultural values and traditions.
Determined to Develop began its direct field work in 2010 in Sangilo Village. Our efforts have focused on the catchment area of Chilumba, a region in the southern part of the Karonga District of Malawi. Focusing on a small geographical area, and remaining a local NGO, has a number of benefits.
We have worked to build a strong rapport with all stakeholders in the community; from village development committees, traditional authorities (chiefs), civil society leaders, and women’s groups. This means we work within local structures. All the projects Determined to Develop works on are identified by the community themselves and are designed to be locally appropriate.
Working on the ground also allows us to have close and ongoing monitoring on all our projects, and we pride ourselves on being able to adapt our projects where necessary and learn through our evaluations.
This approach also ensures that all money donated is used in the most cost-effective way, as we have minimal overhead costs. Our commitment to collaborative working allows us to maximize our impact, and assist in the development of Chilumba in a responsible and positive way.
With the assistance of the community liaison officer, Zika Alick Mkandawire, D2D stays fully engaged and up to date with everything taking place in the villages and supports many local projects and efforts on behalf of the Malawian people.