Determined to Develop (D2D) has had a very exciting couple of months, with a number of varied guests, volunteers and students joining us at our home base, Maji Zuwa.
D2D is a host organization for Malawian and British volunteers through a partnership with the international youth organization Lattitude Global Volunteering, and the Department for International Development (DFID), the UK government’s department responsible for administering overseas aid.
DFID funds International Citizen Service and for the past 18 months, D2D has hosted volunteers and worked with them to further development in Sangilo. The volunteers have been primarily involved with raising the standards of education in the four nursery schools D2D supports, but have also contributed to reforestation, girls clubs, building projects, adult literacy, women’s empowerment and much more. In September, an exciting new project with ICS will begin, focusing on supporting women’s groups in the area. Additionally we have had a Lattitude core program volunteer with us for three months, who has been working with our sponsored youth and tutoring them in math, as part of our non-formal education program.
D2D has a strong partnership with the University of Dayton, and hosted several students throughout the summer months. In May, four students studying as part of the Human Rights Practicum started their own individual research projects in the area concerning education, development, agriculture, and culture. They were joined by three engineering students as part of the ETHOS initiative. The main project of the engineering students was to apply their technical skills in surveying our land to be used to a new high school. They’ve also applied their expertise to building a new garden and drip irrigation system at Maji Zuwa so that we can grow a variety of fruits and vegetables to supplement the diet of our youth.
We were also very fortunate to host a delegation of four faculty members from UD. Although it was a quick visit, we managed to accomplish a lot during their stay. In addition to checking in on all the sites of their students, the faculty were able to move around our area to witness first-hand how our projects are impacting the community. During their stay, we celebrated the 4th of July with a barbecue shared with our residential youth, and a cultural performance from the community.