Sistren Theatre Collective
Sistren Theatre Collective (SISTREN) is an independent women’s organization, established in 1977 that has effectively employed the use of artistic expression as a means of inciting social change. As a trailblazer in gender relations training, Sistren has creatively responded to the changing needs within communities across Jamaica and particularly in Kingston in order to empower residents to change their situations. SISTREN uses the arts as a means of confronting the public on problems facing both genders, and brings pressure to bear on society to change negative stereotypes. SISTREN was one of ten organisations worldwide to receive the UNHABITAT “Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Urban Safety, Crime Prevention and Youth” in 2008.
The flexibility of SISTREN’s methodology has allowed the organization to implement a wide range of solutions to meet the needs of communities; as well as partner with key stakeholders. The organization serves children, youth and adults in inner-city communities using a multi-faceted popular education programme aimed at behaviour change. The Core programming is focused on (i) gender and gender based violence (ii) youth violence prevention (iii) cultural preservation; and includes: public education, community mobilizing, women’s safety, male youth development, life skills building, school outreach, and psychosocial rehabilitation.
Current Projects include:
Tek it to Dem & Rise Up Wi Community: a 3 year VAW project funded by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women
Citizen Security and Justice Programme: a crime reduction & prevention initiative of the Ministry of National Security
FI WI BOONOONOONOOS KULCHA: a cultural preservation project funded by the Culture Health Arts Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund
One of the implementing agencies of the Strengthening Community Safety through Local Government Capacity Building being implemented by the UNDP and the Department of Local Government
SISTREN works primarily with and for working class women, and is committed to using drama to explore issues of women’s oppression. Workshops and performances are held in both urban and rural communities, and in schools.