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Partnerships flourish at Determined to Develop

Partnerships flourish at Determined to Develop

Determined to Develop has strong partnerships with the University of Dayton (USA) and the University of Livingstonia (Malawi). Currently, D2D is hosting several students who are undertaking research projects that contribute to our current programming areas.

This year we are pleased to welcome students from the University of Dayton Human Rights Practicum, ETHOS (Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service Learning) and the University of Livingstonia’s social sciences and environment faculties.

Over a 2 month period, the American and Malawian students are teaming up together, working on 7 different projects which all fall under our four pillars of development. This research collaboration aims to dig deeper into some of the research already undertaken by D2D in order to better guide our practices in the future and gain a better understanding of some of the local issues D2D are addressing in the community – and how we can respond better to that community.

Research projects being conducted concern nursery education and curriculum development, women’s and girl’s empowerment, access to high school education, cash vs livestock systems for women farmers, NGO and CBO collaboration and a comprehensive land survey for the new high school master plan.

Ali Altomare, a Human Rights Practicum student, says this:

“Hi. I’m Ali. I am working on a degree in Human Rights and have recently been studying economic development practices. I am here researching about the differences of cash and livestock based microcredit systems which aligns with D2D’s women’s empowerment cornerstone. D2D currently has two large projects that provide economic opportunities to women. One is a revolving goat project, a livestock based microcredit loan project. I have been surveying the women participating in this project about changes in their lifestyle as a result of this program.

“I have also been interacting with women in another project of D2D’s that aims to empower women through giving them the support to initiate and develop successful Income Generating Activities (IGA). The goal of my collaboration with D2D is to help identify best practices for these activities. The results of my surveys as well as the previous data D2D has collected will show the benefits of the programs as well as areas for D2D to improve on. Each day, I get to speak to women about how D2D’s programs have impacted their lives as well as their hopes for the future. In order to carry out this research, I am working with Medius, a social science student at the University of Livingstonia. She plays a big part in connecting me to the women by translating during interviews, giving cultural insights and guiding me in this new and interesting setting I am now working in.”

Determined to Develop is very thankful for the time and effort the students are giving to the projects and the new knowledge that will be gained. The information collected during this time will ensure that D2D can strengthen operations on the ground and move forwards with a great understanding of some of the deeper development issues the community is facing.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)!