Kavita Kandhai is a Tissue Recovery Coordinator at the Trillium Gift of Life Network. She also has a background as a registered nurse and a registered practical nurse. In her current role, she recovers tissues for the purpose of transplantation, which she finds highly rewarding.
“One tissue donation can help up to 75 people, so it’s a nice feeling to know that my work can help so many. I’ve seen both the sides, the people who donate the tissue and the people who are helped by it, and the whole process is very inspiring. Those people willing to give are the biggest heroes of all.”
Kavita’s and her colleagues at TGLN only recently joined SEIU Healthcare and are currently in the process of obtaining their first collective agreement. She sits on the bargaining committee to ensure that her colleagues get what they deserve.
“Being part of the bargaining committee ensures that as employees, we get the rights we need for our own health and wellbeing. I’m happy to lend my voice to advocate for my colleagues.”
While her colleagues may be new to SEIU Healthcare, Kavita is not. She was an SEIU Healthcare member when her career first started at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. It was there was she met fellow SEIU Healthcare Women’s Committee Member, Mina Amrith.
“Mina and I are both very passionate about empowering marginalized communities. We worked together on a couple projects in the past and have stayed in touch. It is great to be working on something together again.”
As a member of SEIU Healthcare’s Women’s Committee, Kavita hopes to use her platform to empower women of different communities to speak up for their own rights.
“The best way to make change is to empower those whose voices need to be heard. Too often people speak on behalf of other communities, but people also need to speak for themselves.”
Moving forward, Kavita hopes that she can set a positive example for young women, especially those who are minorities, like herself.
“I’ve experienced racism and genderism, so I know how that feels. We know that bad things happen and when they do, a lot of young girls and women feel stuck and don’t have the skills or tools to get out of that. I want to show those girls and women that they can do it and they are not alone. If my voice or actions can make a difference for just one woman or girl, it’s worth it.”