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Sistas of D Ankh … a place where women find solace

Published:Saturday | December 17, 2016 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
Hazel Williams Vaz: I recognized the issues that we all as women faced. It had nothing to do with whether they are rich or poor.

'Sistas' in Clarendon now have an outlet where they can regroup, be renergised and just 'unload' if they need to.

Sistas of D Ankh, which was formed about three years ago by May Pen Restorative Justice head Hazel Williams-Vaz, was inactive for a while, but has now seen new life breathed into it.

The revitalised initiative is open to women within the environs of May Pen, and its aim is to offer support to each other.

"Sistas of D Ankh aims to facilitate a committed group of women through strong leadership and support of each other to foster personal development to lead transformational change in their own lives, families and communities," said Williams-Vaz of the movement.

 

SAFE PLACE

 

It's also a safe place where women can get creative, share their fears and show their courage.

"It is a space for vision and manifesting and achievement. It is a space for growth and health and learning. It is a space of empowerment. It is a space for love. It is a space for healing," Williams-Vaz continued.

Speaking with Family and Religion about the initiative, she said the idea was borne, while living in the United Kingdom.

She attended a meeting with women who formed a large circle as they sat together. It was there the agenda unfolded about supporting each other as 'sistas' and having their backs.

After returning home, she worked with the Social Development Commission for 10 years, and during that span her eyes were further opened to the reality that women needed an outlet like the one she had in mind.

"I recognised the issues that we all as women faced. It had nothing to do with whether they are rich or poor. It's a way to support each other. Sometimes all a woman might need to restore (her) sanity is just a listening ear, it's about each one teaching one," Williams-Vaz points out.

At present the committee comprises six committed members, and women are now assisted mainly through referrals from various places.

According to Williams-Vaz, she finds that mainly some women just want to talk and get stuff off their chest.

Cognisant of the fact that a lot more women are hesitant to come forward for one reason or another, she said the group is now working to set up an online forum where they can reach out incognito.

Williams said even as she looks out for the 'sistas', her hope is that the movement will be replicated islandwide, and that men will also join with them and have 'Brothers of the Ankh'.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com