Obituary: Marcus Balslev

published 10 October 2020 updated 10 October 2020

Obituary: Marcus Balslev

We are heartbroken to inform the EI family and the global union fraternity that one of the most loyal, kind, and humble colleagues, has departed. Marcus Balslev of the Danish Union of Early Childhood Educators (BUPL)  - beloved husband, father,  and work mate - passed away on October 8th, leaving behind a lifetime of love, devotion, friendship, and memories, and plans for decent  work and quality education for all.

Marcus was passionate about many things, but all paled in comparison to his love for achieving quality public early childhood education and decent work for ECE personnel. To say Marcus was a hardworking colleague would be an understatement; actually, whoever had worked with him saw in him a brother. His loyalty to his family, his friends and his work was unmatched. Working with Marcus was like going to life school again. To know Marcus was to love him, his self-respecting and fair manner, quick wit and endless educating stories and allusions. Marcus was never shy about his opinion on critical issues.

Marcus was the flagbearer of BUPL, representing the voice and mind of the union in EI’s development cooperation work where he was the champion advocate for quality early childhood education and decent work conditions for personnel in the sector. Marcus was a familiar face in EI global and regional fora, especially in Africa, where he facilitated discussions on issues pertaining to the promotion of early childhood education. Education International affiliates from, Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tanzania, and Zambia are crying for the loss of a true brother. In these countries he helped develop union policies on decent work for ECE members and develop their professional skill, especially in the learning through play methodology.

Marcus always had the exact words of encouragement after a loss, or a big congratulations in a victory.

Marcus left his imprint on all those he met, his gentle heart as big of a man as he was; and that is undeniably the reason why he came to be seen and referred to as the African. He is leaving behind a vast project on early childhood education.

We will always remember this great unionist and defender of disadvantaged workers.

Education International  presents its sincere condolences to the Balslev family.

May his soul rest in peace.