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Malawi Research Practicum on Rights & Development

The Malawi Research Practicum on Rights & Development is a nine-week collaborative research experience in Chilumba, Malawi. The application deadline for 2018 has passed.

 Program Handbook (pdf) >

About the Program

To train future human rights advocates and development professionals, the University of Dayton through the Department of Political Science and the Human Rights Center sponsors an applied research practicum for undergraduate students in Malawi. Working closely with Determined to Develop, a Karonga-based NGO founded and directed by the University of Dayton alumnus Matt Maroon ’06, practicum students currently spend eight weeks living, learning, and serving in the northern region of Malawi.

Mr. Maroon serves as the practicum’s in-country coordinator and hosts the students at his economic development lodge, Maji Zuwa. Working closely with the local community leaders and organizations and other Malawian university students, each practicum student designs and conducts a research project on a critical human rights or development issue. This research provides the community and leaders with much needed analytics and affords the students invaluable – indeed, life changing – experiences and opportunities to learn from the Malawians.

Research topics have included the assessment and analysis of:

  • Impact of Economic Risk Management in the agriculture sector on rural areas
  • NGOs and CBOs: Stakeholder analysis of development activities in the Chilumba catchment area
  • Impact of macroeconomics on rural businesses and development projects
  • Effects of micro economic development programs on women empowerment in the community
  • Child labor fishing rights: its application in rural communities and its impact on education
  • Secondary education needs
  • Gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment techniques in community building
  • Water security in rural settings
  • The right to grieve and the psychology of orphan care
  • Teacher training and educational access
  • Social organizations, life skills and informal education for girls

Our Presence in Malawi

The University of Dayton’s founding religious order, the Society of Mary, operates primary and secondary schools in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia as well as three US-based universities.

The Marianists, who educate for adaptation and change and seek to educate the whole person, have had a presence in Malawi since 1963, most notably with Chaminade Catholic Secondary School & MIRACLE Technical College in Karanga District. Since 2010, University of Dayton students have regularly traveled to Malawi to engage in numerous research and service-learning projects. Over the years engineering students, for example, have built a nursery school and cooking facilities for a feeding program and installed a water pump for a local hospital.

Determined to Develop

Matt Maroon is a 2006 graduate of the University of Dayton who, before heading to law school, decided to undertake a year of service. He contacted the Marianist brothers, who are also the proprietors of the University of Dayton, and set up an independent program in Malawi, Africa. One year turned into many. Learn more >>

UD Chapter of Determined to Develop

The University of Dayton’s student chapter of Determined to Develop actively educates the campus community about development needs in Malawi and holds annual fundraisers that attract hundreds of attendees. 

Building on its mission to “Learn, Lead, and Serve” and the long Marianist presence in Malawi, the University of Dayton welcomes opportunities to discuss efforts to sustain and deepen our engagement in the Warm Heart of Africa.

Find Us

Human Rights Center

Keller Hall 455 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2790