Kavita Dogra was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and spent most of her childhood in India. She has been a volunteer with several NGOs, including Journalists for Human Rights, A.S.A.A.P, Human Rights Watch. She is also the co-founder of We Talk Women, a Toronto-based organization working in the field of women’s rights. It is my pleasure to interview her today.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Kavita, thank you for answering my questions. First, tell us a little more about you.
Kavita Dogra: Hello Cendrine, first off I want to thank you for this opportunity. It is an honour to have We Talk Women featured on pingroof.com!
During the day, I work in the Development department for an ENGO called Ontario Nature. This charity works to protect wild species and wild spaces in Ontario through conservation, education and public engagement. In my spare time, I keep We Talk Women’s Facebook page, Twitter account and website running and up to date. I’m better at it some days than others! Of course, I am not alone in this work, Leigh Bowen, the other co-founder of We Talk Women helps as well.
I don’t volunteer as much as I used to but am still engaged with a few NGOs and support/attend their events when I can. I look forward to spending time with my nephews on the weekends, have a love for photography and enjoy relaxing with friends. I wish I could travel more often and visit India more frequently. I am an animal lover, vegetarian, documentary junkie and someone who not only has extreme sports like skydiving and bungee jumping on her bucket list but has also crossed them off.
CM: Is there a particular event that triggered your desire to create We Talk Women?
KD: As a volunteer for the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in Toronto, I was exposed via films to many human rights injustices that are occurring around the globe today. It was at one of these screenings that I learned about the epidemic of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I was completely unaware of the situation and was really touched by the filmmaker, Lisa Jackson’s courage and pursuit for the truth.
“The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo” was not easy to watch, I did not speak for 2 days. I cancelled my plans for a birthday celebration that weekend and felt an insurmountable amount of guilt. How could I continue on with my life and ignore the plight of these women? I couldn’t. I didn’t. I started sponsoring a sister through Women for Women International, helping one woman is better than none I thought. And then I learned about Join Me on the Bridge, a global effort to take a stand for peace and women’s equality. It was through this event that We Talk Women was born.
CM: How did you meet Leigh Bowen, the other co-founder of the organization?
KD: When I was searching the map on the Join Me on the Bridge website I noticed that there was no event happening in Toronto. I filled out a form and emailed the organizers about wanting to start one in my city. I wanted my sponsored sister to know that I really did care about her and that I would use my voice to speak out for the injustices she was facing. The global organizer for the bridge events put me in touch with Leigh, who was also interested in starting a Join Me on the Bridge, Toronto event. We were both nervous, hesitant and excited to finally take action. Do our part.
Our bridge event got covered in The Star and we had a humble yet inspired turn out. Since then we’ve not only been putting our heads together to elevate We Talk Women but have developed a genuine friendship that carries us through this journey!
End of part 1
Cendrine Marrouat may be contacted for potential interviews, reviews and general enquiries at email@example.com. Website: www.cendrinemarrouat.com.