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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:

Wishing All Our Students Good Luck on Their Final Exams 1
Wishing All Our Students Good Luck on Their Final Exams 1
Wishing All Our Students Good Luck on Their Final Exams 2
Wishing All Our Students Good Luck on Their Final Exams 1Wishing All Our Students Good Luck on Their Final Exams 2

Wishing all our D2D students the best on their final exams

This week Form Four students (the final year of Secondary school in Malawi) across the country are sitting their Malawi School Certificate Examination (MSCE). The MSCE is a two-week long national exam sat by all school leavers. A minimum of six subjects are taken with each subject scored individually on a points system ranging from 1 to 9, with 1 being the highest grade possible. The final MSCE grade takes a student’s six best points. MSCE qualifications are used for selection onto further education and even employment and therefore strong MSCE grades play a huge part in a young person’s future.

Starting on Wednesday June 17th, this year’s Form Four students are in last minute preparations before their two-week long exam period starts. However, as a respite from studying the students at our local secondary school, Khwawa CDSS, were able to celebrate finishing school, at their graduation ceremony last Friday.

Clemmie, our Program Director, was fortunate enough to attend the graduation ceremony as Guest of Honor, in light of her contributions to development throughout the area. The day was filled with dancing, speeches from graduating students, and lots of food. Following her speech on the broadening horizons offered through education, Clemmie, alongside the Headmaster, had the privilege of opening up the dance floor to allow the celebrations to begin.

We wish all of the students at Khwawa and those we sponsor at schools elsewhere throughout the country the very best of luck in their upcoming examinations.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)