Helping others help themselves

by Mike Isle

From military service to community service, Joshua Foundation co-founder Chris Allan is using his army skills to transform lives in our community.

With his wife Pam, he started the Joshua Foundation helping young people and was last year one of three Selwyn-based Kiwibank Local Heroes.

His success he says is measured in those of the young people helped by the foundation, his community work in Vanuatu, and within Paparua Men’s Prison.

“I served 25 years in the Defence Force rising through the ranks and holding numerous command and management appointments, with the highlight being a deployment to Sierra Leone as a United Nations Military Observer.

“Though I am now retired from fulltime service, I remain in the Reserves as Officer Commanding, Canterbury Company based in Christchurch.

“It was during that active service I realised the skills I had developed as a soldier and officer could be put to use motivating young people and setting them on a path — largely of their own volition — to personal achievement.

“And, so in 2005 Pam and I formed the Joshua Foundation.”

Thay work closely with the Ministry of Social Development and Work and Income.

“We wanted specifically designed programmes that target youth within our community, based upon sound ethical values and moral principles that empower youth to fulfill ambitions and dreams through sound leadership, confidence, courage, clarity, integrity and character. We are addressing self-destructive behaviours in young people.”

“The Joshua Foundation was the first accredited Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award provider in New Zealand, and the principles of the programmes are used successfully in Vanuatu, as well as in Paparua, and is making a real difference to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in our community.

“In addition, The Joshua Foundation currently delivers leadership training, character development and Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award programmes to a large number of schools and colleges in Canterbury.

“All Joshua Foundation programmes are invigorating, interactive and fun, with the aim of engaging and challenging young people mentally and physically while providing them with a sense of self-belief and — ultimately — achievement.

“It is those achievements, their achievements, which are for us the ultimate accolades.”

Joshua Foundation is an Approved Child Youth and Family Services organisation, and a member of the Canterbury Youth Workers Collective.

For further information on the work of the Joshua Foundation, visit their website: joshuafoundation.co.nz or call Chris on 029 456 7482.