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 Maize for School Feeding Program Arrives 1
Determined to Develop Maize for School Feeding Program Arrives 1
Determined to Develop Maize for School Feeding Program Arrives 3
Determined to Develop Maize for School Feeding Program Arrives 2
Determined to Develop Maize for School Feeding Program Arrives 1Determined to Develop Maize for School Feeding Program Arrives 3Determined to Develop Maize for School Feeding Program Arrives 2

Maize for the school feeding program arrives

The Malawian government introduced free primary education in 1994. In the first year after the policy change, primary school enrollment in Malawi tripled, from 1.6 million, to over 3 million students. Although primary school enrollment increased, there are still high dropout rates due to levels of poverty within local communities, a national shortage of classrooms, and a lack of qualified teachers to deal with the huge increase in students. For those who do attend school, many go on empty stomachs. This not only affects their health, but also their concentration levels and performance in class, and contribute to the number of children dropping out of school.

In reaction to this challenge, Determined to Develop initiated a school-feeding program after consultation with local chiefs and members of the community. A study conducted by the American Journal of Nutrition in 2012 found that Malawians who participated in a feeding program had better cognitive ability and a greater amount of muscle growth than other Malawians after one year. There was also a greater attendance rate at the primary school with the feeding program and a lower dropout rate. The school-feeding program provides porridge to students, and for some this may be their only meal in a day. The maize is given to Mother’s Groups who cook and distribute the porridge to the children.

The program provides food for 1,424 children in primary schools and 269 children in nursery schools in the local area at Sangilo Primary School and Tilipo and Phulano Nursery schools. This academic year we are also initiating a new feeding program at the nearby Hara Primary School following the success of the program at Sangilo, and in response to requests from the community and school. As well as providing porridge for the program, three volunteers are instigating a project that will assess the efficacy of the feeding programs and the nutritional value of adding Moringa to the porridge fed to the children. Moringa is a tree that grows well in Africa and has great nutritional value. It could deliver much needed vitamins and minerals to local children, as their diet is very often lacking and stunting and chronic malnutrition are key issues in Malawi. The project has begun and data collection is underway.

Earlier this month 12,500 kg of maize and one ton of sugar was brought to Maji Zuwa for the 2014/15 academic year feeding programs. This has been financed through the generous support of Determined to Develop Sponsors and by the fantastic fundraising efforts of the three volunteers who initiated the Moringa Project.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)