The Joseph Project
The Joseph Project was organized in the early 1990’s as an effort to reduce the infant mortality rate in the 29403 zip code area of Charleston. The project, in partnership with Hold Out the Lifeline: A Mission to Families, focuses on pregnancy, relationships, and the development of the family unit from the male perspective. Through regular group meetings, mentors, and educational programs, the Joseph Project attempts to instill responsibility, self-esteem, and family values into adolescents aged 11 through 18.
The goal of the Joseph Project is to teach young people the social, financial, legal and spiritual responsibilities of fatherhood and motherhood, while encouraging planning for the future through exposure to positive role models and educational and professional opportunities.
The Joseph Project initially began as a partnership between Rev. Sidney Davis, pastor of the Zion Olivet Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Marie Lobo, Associate Professor of Nursing at MUSC, and members of the local alumni chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., but expanded to include The Family Connection of Charleston. Since that time, new partnerships have been established with the Trident Literacy Association, Exchange Club Parent/Child Parent Resource Center, the Trident Urban Leagues – Dads Project, the MUSC – College of Nursing, and the Presbytery of Charleston-Atlantic (PCUSA). This has enhanced the mission of the Joseph Project towards creating healthy and nourishing home environments for adolescents as well as helping build bridges between parents and their children by discovering new ways of relating to problems within the home environment and overcoming old barriers.
Meetings are held bi-weekly at Zion Olivet through group discussion guided by culturally sensitive literature centered around a specific theme. Group discussions are open and can either focus on the chosen theme or on particular issues parents and teens are facing at the time. Once the problem is presented, the group focuses on ways to solve it. This collaborative approach has garnered positive results and participants report using the ideas learned in the group discussions. Many members keep in contact with each other between meetings and relate to and encourage each other. The positive reinforcement generated through group interaction at meetings and through group contact between meetings has greatly improved many relationships between parents and their children in the Charleston area. As their motto states: “You change the attitude and you change the person”.
For more information, call (803) 461-3201.