Joseph Sasvari Memorial Scholarship

Purpose of the scholarship fund:

A scholarship of $500 will be granted this year to a deserving individual whose has a history of volunteering in their community and who requires financial support to further their education. The Scholarship will be awarded at the Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-op AGM.

Application details:

Application Submission Deadline
Comming Soon

Information about the fund
A scholarship funded under the terms of the generous legacy of Joseph Sasvari, awarded annually, and administered by BC Multicultural Health Services Society (BCMHSS) and the Umbrella Multicultural Health Cooperative. This is a volunteering scholarship, to assist immigrants and refugees who volunteer  in British Columbia to more quickly integrate into society, further contribute to the development of their communities, and promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding.

Value of award

Specified use
It is anticipated that the award of approximately $500 shall be the whole or part of the cost of tuition in a tertiary institution in British Columbia.

Application procedure
Applicants should submit a resume and a letter, not to exceed 500 words, of their intended study and to illustrate their financial need and how their studies will further their integration into life in BC and volunteerism, in accordance with the wishes of the late Joseph Sasvari.
On completion of the studies, the successful applicant shall report to the BC Multicultural Health Services Society (BCMHSS) and the Umbrella Multicultural Health Cooperative , in writing and in not less than 2,000 words, as to the benefit derived from their education and volunteering.

Submission details:

Umbrella Multicultural Health Cooperative
Attention: Scholarship Committee
Subject Line: Scholarship - NAME

Joseph Sasvari was born in Hungary in 1934 and, like so many others, came to Canada as a refugee after the disastrous revolution of 1956. He found a new home in British Columbia, where he dedicated his life to helping others, first as a social worker in the Kootenays, later as an alcohol and drug rehabilitation official on Vancouver Island, and finally, as a health administrator helping new Canadians in Vancouver.

In the 1980s, Sasvari joined the City of Vancouver Health Department as director of the South and East Health Units. There he saw an enormous need not just for health services, but for delivering those services to immigrants in their own languages.

Sasvari was the first city official to systematically recruit nurses and other staff who could speak Cantonese, Punjab, Vietnamese and Spanish. He created the position of Multicultural Health Educator, chaired the multicultural health committee of the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies, and served as race relations liaison to the City of Vancouver. Understanding the need for awareness not just in Vancouver, but right across Canada, he also co-organized two national conferences on multicultural health issues.

Shortly before his retirement in 1994, Sasvari helped found the BC Multicultural Health Services society, which helps immigrants access health care and prevention programs. He continues to be an ongoing source of inspiration to the members of the society, which established the scholarship fund shortly after his death in 1996, in the hopes of furthering his work and helping newcomers to Canada.