Geoff Mzembe – Manager, External & Community Relations & Sponsorships
Geoff has been with Determined to Develop since the beginning, starting the project with Matt in 2010. Geoff has been an integral part of all projects from their inception. In the past year, Geoff has moved into a new role coordinating all external and community relations, from our surrounding village and schools to the Ministry level counterparts that work together with D2D in its programming. This means Geoff sits on the PTA’s of our local schools, attends village meetings on issues affecting the community, links with the Ministry of Social Welfare about child protection, coordinates our sponsored youth at local community schools, and serves as the point person for D2D’s outward facing programming. Geoff also manages all of our sponsorship programs that are the bread and butter of keeping our kids in school. Geoff has a degree in Education, with a focus on Social and Development Studies as well as Geography from the University of Livingstonia. In his free time, Geoff likes to watch and play soccer.
Key responsibilities: Community Linking: Government Cooperation, Local Secondary School Support; Village Development Committee; Sponsorship Program
Ponelo Kalonga – Manager, Women’s & Girl’s Empowerment Initiatives
Ponelo is our outreach staff member in charge of all our Women’s Empowerment and girls programs. Originally from the capital city Lilongwe, Ponelo moved to rural Chilumba to pursue her interest in community development. She studied Community Development and holds a certificate in Women’s development studies. In her free time she likes watching soaps and listening to music
Key responsibilities: Project Supervisor for Women’s & Girl’s Empowerment
Hope Kondowe – Finance Officer/Accountant
Hope has a higher diploma in Business management obtained from Lilongwe Technical College. Hope is responsible for carrying out finance and accounting with a focus in transactions. Hope ensures that D2D policies and procedures are adhered to, and that financial transactions and records are in compliance with the approved accounting system.
Key responsibilities: Finance, Accounting and Transactions
Melness Kayuni – Women’s Empowerment Program Manager
Kayuni comes from the city of Mzuzu. She graduated from Miracle Technical College with a diploma in Community Development in June of 2017. In January that same year, she started working as a field officer for Determined to Develop as an intern. After her internship, she was asked to stay on and work as the Women’s Empowerment program manager. Melness helped the women’s groups develop a spirit of ownership and contributed to sustaining each one of their projects. Currently, her main focus is Girls Empowerment, where she is striving to build confidence in the girls and help them to develop more effectively in order to achieve success within their education’s and take control of their futures.
Key responsibilities: Women’s Empowerment Programs
Whitney Strauss – University of Dayton Human Rights, Applied Project Officer
Whitney graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in Political Science. Throughout her undergraduate career, her main focus was Human Rights Studies, where she developed a passion for women’s rights and female empowerment. She has previously served for a Peruvian nonprofit, where she worked to provide sustainable economic opportunities for women. She plans to return to the United States in 2018 in order to start a Master’s in Public Administration where she intends to spend her life vying for global human equality.
Key responsibilities: Women’s empowerment, donor relations, monitoring & evaluation, strategic initiatives
Tapiwa Msyali – Intern
Tapiwa Msyali studies community development at Miracle Technical College. She’s currently working with Determined to Develop as an intern as a part of her schooling attachment. Tapiwa helps with the women’s empowerment programs and all Girl’s Club programming as well. She is grateful for her experience with D2D, noting that it has already taught her how women in the communities can be empowered, especially through IGA involvement. During her free-time, Tapiwa enjoys swimming in the beautiful Lake Malawi.
Florence Nyondo – Intern
Florence is from from Chitipa and studies community development at Miracle Technical College where she is working to obtain a Level Four diploma. She is currently at Maji Zuwa working with Determined to Develop as an intern. After being welcomed by staff members, she began working on Girl’s Club and women’s empowerment programming. Florence really enjoys her placement and feels she has already gained valuable communication skills and a much deeper insight on different initiatives which can work to foster community development. She is hopeful she will continue to grow and learn more throughout her days here before returning to finish her schooling.
Cholwe Mnthali – Intern
Cholwe Mnthali studies at Miracle Technical College where she is working to receive her Level Four diploma in community development. She is currently interning with Determined to Develop and is assisting on programming for women’s empowerment and Girl’s Club. She feels her placement with D2D is extremely beneficial for her future career, already having gained valuable experience and skills within communication and translation. She really enjoys the time she is able to have with the younger girl’s and is thankful for the new friendships she has already made within her time here.
Frackson Mhango – Manager, Residential Youth Home
Frackson is charge of the residential home for youth on Maji Zuwa’s campus, looking after the boys full time as their live-in house parent. Frackson began with D2D as a sponsored youth in 2011 when he was beginning high school and, after that time, he scored well under D2D’s program to continue with a university program where he earned a degree from the University of Livingstonia. In his free time, Frackson likes talking with friends and swimming in Lake Malawi.
Key responsibilities: Live-in Youth Program