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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 New Library at Thunduti Community Secondary School 1
Determined to Develop New Library at Thunduti Community Secondary School 1
Determined to Develop New Library at Thunduti Community Secondary School 2
Determined to Develop New Library at Thunduti Community Secondary School 3
Determined to Develop New Library at Thunduti Community Secondary School 1Determined to Develop New Library at Thunduti Community Secondary School 2Determined to Develop New Library at Thunduti Community Secondary School 3

New Library at Thunduti Community Secondary School

On July 26th, Determined to Develop attended the ribbon cutting and opening of the new library at Thunduti Community Day Secondary School (high school). The library project was initiated and led by Peace Corps Volunteer, Nick Parr, who taught at the school for two years and has been heavily involved with Determined to Develop’s projects during his time in Malawi.

Prior to this project, students at Thunduti had no library, study space or laboratory. The new library provides an area for these activities and a safe place to store books and equipment. Additionally, the library can be used for community and club meetings.

In line with our philosophy of community-driven projects, the school and local community sourced funding/equivalent materials for 60% of the project and Determined to Develop assisted with the remaining 40%. Determined to Develop’s funding was entirely driven by Nick, which shows his commitment to his school and leaves a lasting legacy of his partnership with local leaders.

Determined to Develop supports more than a dozen students who attend Thunduti through the school fee sponsorship program and is very pleased to have been involved in this project which will have a great impact on the school’s students.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)