Sheva was founded in 1991 by ten Bangladeshi women to support women’s advancement from all sectors of society. Initially Sheva aimed to help women from middle income homes venture into the world of work and independent earnings. A daycare program for working women was setup along with a small catering service. This rapidly expanded by 1993, generating sufficient seed money to set up operations at the grassroots level. Entrepreneurship development training and small loans were extended to women who wanted to start businesses. Sheva began microcredit operations for women in the slums around Dhaka City from April, 1994.
Sheva became a regional partner of Verité (Verification in Trade and Ethics) a US based not for profit organization aiming to ensure that globalization is made to work for poor and vulnerable people around the world. They work to ensure that powerfu institutions, and particularly the private sector, take responsibility for solving human rightproblems where goods are made and crops are grown. Sheva’s collaboration with Verité has enabled Sheva to broaden insights into the livelihood of workers in the global market. Since 1998 Sheva-Verité has worked with a vision of the world where businesses, NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders interact in the global economy to create sustainable labor practices. Sheva-Verité’s research, monitoring, training and advocacy initiatives have mobilized and improved working conditions directly and indirectly for thousands of workers and their families in Bangladesh.
Starting with modest resources Sheva steadily built a network among the urban poor, bringing training and education to them. Since then, its work has expanded to include education among poor women, training for factory workers and management, managing projects for protection of women’s rights, research and advocacy, and various specialized consultation projects.
Most recently, as a partner NGO (PNGO) of CARE Bangladesh, Sheva is implementing after hours community based education programs and self help groups for garment factory workers.