Brief History

The project was conceptualized by Lars C. Jorgensen and Monica D. Ray during their first visit to the Philippines.


Completion a new workshop for maintenance work, furniture production and woodwork classes for the children in residence. Initiate construction of a small bakery. Launching of the theater production “The Lorax” based on the story by Dr. Seuss. The production of sets and props had been ongoing for more than a year, since the conception of the EACY program. The play was performed by the Stairway Children and viewed by hundreds of local students. The SAS bangka started operations after some delays and additional work, but the concept proved excellent. The BTS program kept on expanding, and a new collaboration with the Department of Education came into play. New partners are included in the BTS Network, and we reach organizations in more new countries. With significant support from Firetree Foundation, our Educational Assistance program reaches new dimensions with more than 200 scholars in the local community. Yale University joins in the Youth for Change program


We enter partnership with Marshall Foundation and open up a new environmental program titled EACY, Environmental Awareness for Children and Youth. Part of the program is the Sea Adventure School, SAS. We start to build a 50 foot bangka for the SAS. We can celebrate 20 years of support from Roedkilde Gymnasium, and another Danish High School, Roedovre Gymnasium, joins in with generous support. We add breakfast to the feeding of the indigenous students in Baclayan. The average attendance is now above 100, from around 25-30 at the onset of the program January 2012. Further, we introduce a health component to the program with bi-weekly medical check-up for the entire Baclayan community. With an expansion supported by DANIDA, the Break the Silence Campaign is continuously growing. We start up close collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare, while we continue to strengthen the collaboration with the National Police. The international trainings are also increasing immensely, and Stairway is chosen as regional trainer for KNH in the international move to introduce Child Protection Policies amongst their partners worldwide. The Break the Silence reach now includes Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, and Nepal. The family home program runs smoothly with 14 boys in residence. Harvard University joins the Youth for Change Program. We obtain an interest free loan from a partner and make final payment for the one hectare of land we are sitting on. We finally have the title of the land we have been renting for the past 2 decades.


We expanded our collaboration with the law enforcement to include the Philippine National Police Academy, which means that all the future PNP officers will undergo Stairway training on child protection, with special focus on child sexual abuse and exploitation. We completed the construction of new quarters for our children in residence, including 2 dormitories, a class room, a library, a computer room, and plenty of outside space for recreation. Break the Silence International entered into India through partnership with ADM Capital Foundation. We ran a whole year with a feeding program at the Baclayan Elementary School for indigenous children with the result that attendance more than tripled. Further, we also secured school supplies, slippers and raincoats for all the students. We start partnership with Swedish partner, VEM We decide to give up leasing and instead purchase our one hectare of land in Aninuan. First installment paid


2011 has passed with new concepts and ideas transformed into programs and activities. It was another year shaped by innovation and creativity, a year where we launched our nationwide Break the Silence Campaign, where we opened an office in Manila, where we reached and trained every single police cadet in all of the country’s 17 regional Police Training Institutes, where our animations and trainers on child protection reached into 6 Southeast Asian countries, and it was the year that our Youth for Change camps expanded to include schools from 3 continents and 6 nations. First time to have a group of students from our long time strong support, Roedkilde Gymnasium. Opening of the Baclayan Community Assistance Program with support from AAP, including intensified work on the organic farm and a feeding program for the children in the local school. Opening of Orange House, dormitory for camps, workshops and trainings


The Break the Silence International Campaign against Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation has really taken off since we completed our latest film, "Red Leaves Falling" and entered into a focused partnership with the Hong Kong based ADM Capital Foundation to further develop and to execute the Campaign. We are currently training and working alongside networks of partners in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Malaysia. Red Leaves Falling has already been dubbed into Khmer, Thai and Vietnamese, with burmese and Malay Bahasa in the process. All of our three animations have been made accessible to the Deaf community by providing sign language insets; both the American and the Filipino Sign Language have been applied through the help of the US Peace Corps and DLSU -CSB SDEAS, a Manila based college with a Deaf department. A new larger project for capacitating NGOs working with the Deaf is lined up for implementation in 2011. Our advocacy theatre play, “Cracked Mirrors” has continued to move and shake hearts and souls in 2010. Students from Singapore American School arranged for the Stairway theatre troupe to visit Singapore for a line of performances and sessions of direct interaction with students and faculty at the school. The convincing power of the theatre was also proven earlier in the year, when we had the head of the Police National Training Institutes visit Stairway. Upon viewing Red Leaves Falling and Cracked Mirrors, General Sarmiento declared his full support for our training and advocacy program for the police. Consequently, we are now about to enter into all of the 17 police training institutes around the nation, which means that we will reach an estimated 10 to 12,000 police cadets every year, starting 2011. We developed and submitted a proposal for a 5 year project with the aim to establish and capacitate a large number of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Resource Centers in different parts of the Philippines. The proposal was approved by our partners from DANIDA in November. Stairway has been nominated for the Philippine Inter-Agency Council against Child Pornography, and has been invited by several groups as a resource organization on online safety and how to understand and use the newly ratified anti-child pornography law. Red Leaves Falling was screened at the Human Rights and Sex trafficking Film Forum by the Boston Initiative to Advance Human Rights at The Brattle Theatre & Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA. We have started a project with the Philippine Police Department for Women and Children to improve on their existing set up in a number of police stations in Metro Manila, where we will create more child friendly spaces. With the visit of 20 students from the Singapore American School (SAS) last February, we have added a new international partner to our Youth for Change Program. SAS left more than half million pesos donation to help in construction of a children’s dormitory. We have purchased a small lot (174 sqm) along the river in Aninuan to secure our deep well and supply of water to Stairway and a number of local families in the community. We have made a needs analysis on the children in the Mangyan School in Baclayan, which is neighbor to our 10 hectares of land in the mountains. We took a strong interest in the children, the school and the community, as we learned that the attendance rate in the school is way below 50%, and the students rank way below the national average in their academic performances. Conclusion to the analysis was that children do not go to school, because they are hungry. We will start a program with the school and the community early 2011, which will initially address the children’s nutrition and health condition, as many are malnourished. The long term objective is to seriously improve the quality of the children’s education. And last but not least, we have planted several hundred fruit trees on our land in Baclayan. The next step will be to establish an organic vegetable garden that will help provide food for the feeding program in the school, and at the same time function as a model garden.


The year was filled with many significant events and development in terms of programs, activities and networking, along with a continuous process of consolidating our organization. We completed our 3rd animation toolkit, Red Leaves Falling, and launched it in collaboration with UNICEF as part of a grand anti child pornography campaign.
  • We developed a new website, which over a time period of 6 months has had more than 26,000 visitors
  • We toured in Europe with a campaign against child pornography, featuring Red Leaves as well as the theater piece Cracked Mirrors
  • We started a new collaboration with the US Peace Corps, having their volunteers working with us.
  • We completed our new theater/multi-function building, and the stage was opened in style with no less than 4 different, and all very great performances, over the year.
  • We received an award from the Philippine National Police for our service in training of their personnel, and we further expanded this collaboration to include a large number of training schools for cadets around the country.
  • We concluded a one year pilot project in which we aimed to empower 8 partner NGOs to become resource centers for the prevention of child sexual abuse. We hope to bring this project to new heights with a lot more partners over the coming years.
  • We purchased additional 4 hectares of land adjacent to the 6 hectares in Baclayan
  • We finished and opened Yellow House, a dormitory for camps, workshops and trainings.


Due to great success, the “Cracked Mirrors” Tour and Campaign continues. We experience serious set-backs in the production of the “Red Leaves Falling” animation film and end up breaking with the studio that was contracted to produce the film. In the middle of the year the production gets back on track, but with delay. We conclude the 3 year CSAP program under DANIDA, KNH, Leger and UNICEF with an outcome way over the expected and a wealth of experience to build on, and after evaluation we enter new partnership agreement with the same partners for a new one year pilot focusing on the training and capacity building of 8 NGO partners. This is the beginning to the Break the Silence Campaign and Network. The SFI organizational development process continues with the establishment of 3 pillars under the program, each with its own head. We purchase 6 hectares of land in the mountains, Barangay Baclayan


“A Good Boy” and “Daughter” were translated into Cebuano and Thai. The Stairway workshops were developed further and divided into several modules, based on feed-back and experience from the trainers. SFI gave training to a network of child caregivers under the network og World Concern in Thailand, and “Cracked Mirrors” opened an International Conference for Child Protection Agencies in Bangkok, Thailand. Mr. Soren Sorensen and his wife, Vibeke, visit Stairway, which leads to Soren accepting the position as chairman on the board of Stairway Denmark. The SFI Family Home Program continues to operate with very satisfying results. Supported by UNICEF “Cracked Mirrors” goes on tour in the Philippines reaching thousands of students, teachers, social workers, church groups and law enforcers. With strong input and sparring from KNH and Stairway Denmark, SFI allocates more time and resources in our own organizational development. We finished and opened new building with kitchen, office, and training room


“A Good Boy” received international recognition with awards from the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Film Festival and from a Human Rights Award in Buenos Aires; Argentina. The 3rd animation “Red Leaves Falling”, which will conclude the trilogy, is underway. We expanded our team with more people in the Advocacy and Training Program, as we further strengthened a 3 year Training Program supported by DANIDA, KNH, Leger and UNICEF. During that year more than a thousand professionals and around 25.000 children were reached in Calapan and Silang City as a result of SFI trainings. “Cracked Mirrors” opened International Law Enforcement Conference on Technology Related Crimes against Children, sponsored by Microsoft


We continued the Family Home program for particularly endangered street children, children with tuberculosis and children out of detention centers. At the same time we intensified our trainings of staff on child sexual abuse prevention within the government rehabilitation centers. Our social workers and psychologist also served the children directly with workshops for prevention and aftercare counseling. In September we launched our 2nd animation; “A Good Boy, A Story of Pedophilia” at the Republic of Malate Theater in front of an audience of approximately 400 people. The advocacy theater piece “Cracked Mirrors”, performed by young people who used to be in Stairway’s program, was launched at the same event. “A Good Boy” was translated and dubbed into Tagalog and Khmer, “Daughter” into Nepali, and both animation toolkits were translated and dubbed into Spanish and French. All the work with the translations was done entirely on a volunteer basis with help from the International School Manila and the European International School. Facilities and technical assistance was generously donated by Dennis Cham and Hit Productions. We held our first international training at Stairway, and we sent 2 of our social workers to Cambodia to train our partners in Chab Dai. Chab Dai managed to utilize the animation toolkits broad and wide through their network of child care agencies and through government collaborations. Aside from continuing the collaboration with the International School in Manila, we expanded the Youth for Change Activity with the visit of 20 students from the American College Cairo, Egypt for a Week Without Walls. This program ran for 3 years till the American State Department declared the Philippines amongst high risk travel destinations.