The Joshua Project’s vision is simple; we want to see our communities transformed and believe that the keys to unlocking that transformation lies in the hands of a rising generation. As it stands crime, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, dysfunctional family life crushes the hopes and aspirations that children and young people should have. We are positioned to invest in the lives of children and young people from a variety of backgrounds, however, we pride ourselves in our ability to engage the ‘hardest to reach’ children and young people.
We hold high the importance of community transformation driven by the community and the children and young people we work alongside. For that reason, most of our staff and volunteers live in the community. The project is therefore not a 9 – 5 organisation, the commitment is 24/7. We are also directed by the needs that the children and young people present. We believe that this sets us apart from many other children and young people’s organisations and allows us to work holistically in all aspects of a child or young persons life.
As a children and young people’s charity we are committed to providing the best opportunities for children and young people from all backgrounds. Underpinning this commitment are six values on which we are building a sustainable, long term response to the needs of the children and young people in this area. From these values our hope is to see the aspirations of a rising generation lifted beyond hopeless circumstances, thus enabling the young people we work with to have a positive impact on their community, city and nation.
Social Intervention – We provide innovative, engaging, positive activities for young people in a safe environment. From Monday to Friday and beyond, young people are engaging with activities that have been designed to help them overcome some of the social barriers that they face. Our passion is to equip young people through social intervention opportunities with the skills needed to socialise in safe and appropriate ways. We are filling the voids that were created as a result of a lost childhood that didn’t include opportunities to play.
Engagement with Education – We seek to challenge the chaotic mindset that is common in young people who have struggled at school and become educationally disaffected. An unfortunate number of young people in our community struggle through education and (if they make it out of the other end) finish with nothing to show for the 11 or 12 years that they have spent in the school system. These young people find themselves plunged into chaos. They lack direction, aspiration and hope and consequently slip into a lifestyle shaped by their criminal activity, their drug and alcohol misuse and their violent behaviour.
Faith and Life – We provide opportunities for young people to engage in a safe small group setting to discuss and evaluate their attitudes towards life and faith issues. Spirituality is core to our existence as human beings. We are also a Project that believes in providing young people with their own opportunities to make informed choices about faith and life issues. This means that we are open access and don’t create divisions on grounds of race or religion. Many of the young people who access our activities are of a variety of races and religions. We celebrate that. We don’t proselytize. Young people rarely have opportunities to explore their own thoughts about key life issues that affect them. We are able to design mentoring sessions delivered in a small group setting that can help young people do just that. Personal reflection is key to successful personal change.
Advising the Hardest to Reach – We act as a resource for young people by providing advice and assistance and helping them to develop their skills, capacities and capabilities to enable them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals. We believe that every human being is valuable. No one is a write-off. When Rich’s heart was broken for the young people in this area back in the summer of 2004, the compassion that flowed from that position of brokenness was particularly for those who were ‘write-off’s’ in their own eyes as well as in other people’s, those who looked on at a world that had turned its back on them – the hardest to reach. Consequently, reaching the hardest to reach is part of the building blocks of this organisation.
Celebrating Success – We affirm the positive, life-changing decisions that young people make, whether they’re related to faith, crime, substance abuse, anti-social behaviour or engagement with education. The celebrating of all these successes gives as much life to the young person as the success itself does. The celebration provides a platform on which the young person’s brighter future can be built.