Mark Saldanha'15 receives Young Humanitarian Award
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Mark Saldanha has been keeping busy since graduation – and it's paying off. He finished his neuroscience degree at Dalhousie University, where he's now a lecturer in the Department of psychology and neuroscience, and is also the founder of Greater Love, a non-profit that helps homeless people in Halifax. Greater Love has over 100 members who volunteer their time giving food, respect, and friendship to those in need. In November, Mark was recognized for his achievements with the Canadian Red Cross Young Humanitarian Award.
During a 2018 interview with My Halifax Experience, Mark recalled a childhood trip to Mumbai, India. During this trip, he and his mother came across a man with leprosy who was begging in the street. "I recall one key moment. My mother gave me some money to hand to him, but I dropped it on the ground instead of handing it to him because I was afraid. In that moment, my mother told me that the man needed to be treated with respect and love. She taught me that even though someone has leprosy, it does not mean you should be afraid of them or treat them any differently.”
This lesson to treat others with love and respect stuck with Mark. While he was in middle school, Mark volunteered at the IWK Health Centre. When he was in senior school, he led a campaign that encouraged youth to engage in civic duties. He also directed a program that helped students volunteer with Feed Nova Scotia and the Ronald McDonald House.
Now, Mark has big plans for the future of Greater Love, and also for himself. He hopes to attend medical school at Dalhousie University and wants to expand Greater Love in the near future by opening chapters across the country.