The Young Women’s Christian Association, or YWCA, administers programs throughout Bangladesh, in a variety of social services and education–related projects. YWCA works with economically marginalized women, some of them disabled. In Dhaka the YWCA Craft Centre teaches women to sew and earning a living from their work. The YWCA Centre has strong connections to the Catholic Church in Bangladesh, and works with young women of all faiths. The craft center provides training and job opportunities to poor and unskilled women and young girls. Many of these women continue to work with YWCA; others have moved on to other jobs or started businesses of their own with their new skills. YWCA artisan benefits include a compulsory 10 percent savings program, interest–free loans and health and legal support.
The YWCA responded to the devastation of Bangladesh’s 1971 struggle for independence by providing assistance to widowed and homeless women in Dhaka. YWCA Craft Centre, part of the wider YWCA program, was established in 1973.
Ten Thousand Villages purchases sewn jute and cotton products from YWCA Craft Centre. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from YWCA Craft Centre since 1986.
- Artisan Products