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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 Safe Clean Water Always Available 1
Determined to Develop Safe Clean Water Always Available 1
Determined to Develop Safe Clean Water Always Available 2
Determined to Develop Safe Clean Water Always Available 3
Determined to Develop Safe Clean Water Always Available 1Determined to Develop Safe Clean Water Always Available 2Determined to Develop Safe Clean Water Always Available 3

Safe, clean water now always available at Determined to Develop

Running water is something that is often taken for granted in the West. Folks in the developed world assume they will turn on a tap and clean water will come out – any time day or night. However, this is not the case for many Malawians where 2.4 million people do not have access to safe water. Worse yet, over 3,500 children in Malawi die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Due to generous donations, Determined to Develop and Maji Zuwa (lodge, economic empowerment center and home to 45 orphans sponsored through D2D) now have access to clean, safe running water. Previously, water for cooking, washing and drinking was hauled up from the lake in large buckets, with our kids and local women carrying these 5 gallon containers on their heads up a steep hill.

In 2013, a generous donation by visitors from Oregon, Rocky Verdugo & Jessica Robinson began this project by providing major piping and water tank systems for Maji Zuwa, that when completed would harvest lake water and distribute it to the campus. In April 2014, Mr. Larry Moore and his family from Ohio donated an electric water pump which meant Maji Zuwa could now pump water directly from Lake Malawi to storage tanks instead of carrying each bucket up the hill.

This process and our water supply has now been further improved and finalized through the donation of an automatic chlorination system from Mr. Moore and his family. We are now able to treat the water directly during pumping with chlorine in an automatic system, which means our stored water is now safe and ready for the kids and the lodge to use.

This unbelievably kind donation of clean, safe drinking water for our visitors and kids makes a huge impact on the work of Determined to Develop and the students who call Maji Zuwa home. It’s the simple things in life that are not always so simple in Malawi: Safe, clean water.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)