Soren Sorensen and his wife, Vibeke, first visited Stairway in 2006, a journey that became the beginning of an amazing friendship and a unique volunteer commitment. Right after their visit, Soren signed up as a board member of Stairway Denmark, and the following year he was elected chairperson. He held that position from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2014 to 2016. He remained a board member at all times from 2006 up till his death on April 26th, 2021.
Soren was an educator and an innovator, and he was incredibly skilled and successful in both disciplines. Most importantly, he was an extremely kind and empathetic person, who took a sincere interest in people around him. Soren was also gifted with a sharp business mind and a thoroughness, which he used to strengthen and enrich Stairway in our expanding operations.
Soren was a critical analyst and at the same time a humble listener. He never pushed his points, and he was always keen to try to better understand the different contexts that we work in. He would take the long trip from Denmark to the Philippines many times just to stay in touch, to be part of a strategic planning session or a celebration. He made a point in showing up for our more momentous celebratory moments, like when we launched our third animation film, Red Leaves Falling, at a big event in Manila in 2009, and when we celebrated our 25th anniversary with a concert with the Harvard and the Manila Symphony Orchestras joining forces.
In Denmark, the home of Soren and Vibeke became a Stairway Club House or Guest House. A place where so many members of the extended Stairway family, from the Philippines and from Denmark, have enjoyed amazing hospitality and inspiring company.
Soren has left this life way too early, and we have lost a dear friend and a mentor.
Soren, we will always carry with us all you have given and we will honor your memory through our continued work and commitment and work towards a more equitable world, where children’s rights become a priority.
Our most sincere condolences go to Soren’s wife, Vibeke, and their children and grandchildren.
Love and respect,