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The YWCA Craft Centre was established in response to the devastation caused by Bangladesh’s struggle for independence with the goal of assisting widowed, abandoned and homeless women. The Centre began with 18 women trainees and has grown substantially to include over 400 women from all faiths who are taught sewing and learn to read and write. The women receive subsidized snacks and health care, have access to free legal services, interest-free loans, and contribute to a 10% compulsory savings program. Since 1973, about 1800 women have gone on to a variety of employment opportunities.