The Bernard van Leer Foundation is an international grantmaking foundation based in The Hague.
Our mission is to improve opportunities for children up to age 8 who are growing up in socially and economically difficult circumstances. We see this both as a valuable end in itself and as a long-term means to promoting more cohesive, considerate and creative societies with equal opportunities and rights for all.
Latest news from the Bernard van Leer Foundation
On 28-29 November 2014 the conference ‘Small Children, Big Cities’ will take place in New Delhi, India, hosted by the Bernard van Leer Foundation in partnership with Ministry of Urban Development, National Institute of Urban Affairs and School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is the lead partner for organizing this conference.
Participants will address the question of how city governments and local stakeholders can best contribute to the task of building sustainable and inclusive cities from the perspective of young children. Read more
The Fatherhood Institute and MenCare are launching Bringing Fathers In (developed with BvLF support), a series of practical resources to help health, education and social care professionals, policy makers, programme managers and designers, researchers and evaluators across the world work in ways that build on dads’ vital role in improving children’s outcomes. Read more
From Saturday November 15 a new series of ‘Full Proof’ – a science programme for children, sponsored by the Bernard van Leer Foundation – will be broadcast on Dutch television. On TV, science is often practised by men in a laboratory wearing white coats. Full Proof is different; it goes outside and lets children themselves explain the experiments. Read more
'If foundations are serious about leveraging resources for the greatest good, they need to hone every dimension of their own management.' - Michael Feigelson, Interim Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation (Stanford Social Innovation Review, 10 October 2014)
Read Michael Feigelson's blog about leverage on Stanford Social Innovation Review.
'A few years ago in Riga, Latvia, I noticed something that surprised me: lots of men pushing prams. You’d expect this in Sweden but not so much in the former Soviet Union.
It signalled a trend: the rise of the global father. Around the world, in some very unlikely countries, men are taking a bigger role in childrearing (from a low base). Rather than the end of men, this is their reinvention...' - Simon Kuper (FT Magazine, 10 October 2014)
Read the complete article by Simon Kuper - with contribution of the Bernard van Leer Foundation - on 'FT Magazine'.
Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, welcomes three new partners to the Saving Brains Grand Challenge: Aga Khan Foundation Canada, Norlien Foundation and World Vision Canada. These organizations strengthen the existing partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation.
The news coincides with an announcement of more than $2.9 million in funding for 11 new bold ideas aimed at improving the early brain development of infants and children in low-resource countries. Read more
The documentary ‘Migrating Childhood’ about the lives of migrant children at worksites in India, produced by our partner Aide et Action, was released last Monday. The Bernard van Leer Foundation works with Aide et Action to improve the living conditions of migrant children. The young migrants generally accompany their parents and live in very unhealthy, unfriendly environments like brick kilns and building construction sites, and are excluded from accessing quality child care. This often results in malnourishment, illness and morbidity, which also hampers their psychological, cognitive and physical growth. Read more
Today the publication ‘Jong geleerd’ (taught early), a 20-page supplement of the Dutch newspaper NRC weekend, is distributed. This supplement, about the importance of investing in the early years, is an initiative of the Bernard van Leer Foundation. Scientific research proves that investing in the development of young children is of great importance; for individuals, but also for our economy and society. However, the attention for the importance and impact of early learning is still very limited in the Netherlands. We hope that this supplement can be of influence in changing this. Sharing knowledge on this topic and increasing opportunities for young children is one of the key objectives of the Bernard van Leer Foundation. Read more
On August 5th the ceremony for the 1st National Award for Projects with Child Participation (Prêmio Nacional de Projetos com Participação Infantil) was held in Ipanema, Brazil. The first prize winning project is: Escola de Comunicação da Meninada do Sertão (Fundação Casa Grande Memorial do Homem Kariri). The competition, conducted by CECIP (Centro de Criação da Imagem Popular), with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation, aims to enrich the field and practical discussions around the idea of child participation in Brazil. Read more