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
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 6 September 2012
It's election time in the Netherlands. On September 12th the Dutch will cast their votes with the euro crisis at the top of their minds. However daycare has also surfaced as one of the main topics in the political debates. All parties, in part through talks with my team, have expressed their desire to reverse the budget cuts planned for 2013 which would make quality daycare a luxury even fewer parents can afford. While we welcome the change of heart, reversing budget cuts is not enough. It is only the first step in a complete overhaul of the child care system that is necessary to allow all young children in the Netherlands to develop to their full potential. Read more
Dilip Tirkey, hockey star and member of India's upper house of parliament, has today voiced his support for preschool and primary education being delivered in tribal languages in tribal areas of the state of Odisha (see coverage in The Times of India).
This follows a major step forward last month when the Odisha government issued a directive in support of the policy, as advocated by the state-level tribal organisation Odisha Adivashi Mancha. Tribal children face difficulty in adjusting to school when instruction is not in the langauge they speak at home, making it harder for them to get an education.
Through its local partner NGO PREM, the Bernard van Leer Foundation has been a long time supporter of this campaign and has demonstrated the efficacy of mother tongue-based early education by funding 900 centres in the state, reaching nearly 15,000 tribal childrem. The focus now shifts to ensuring the state government directive is fully implemented, and pressing for a national law enshrining all Indian children's right to an education in their mother tongue.
On 27 and 28 August an international meeting on violence against children was held in Lima with the title "Expert Consultation on Prevention and Response to Violence Against Girls and Young Children", organized by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, SRSG On Violence Against Children in the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Women and Vulnerable Populations in Peru, the Global Movement for Children of Latin America and the Caribbean and Salgalú. The meeting, attended by experts from countries including the US, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, has been looking at how to respond to and prevent violence against young children
The Bernard van Leer Foundation is recruiting an administrator to assist our communications department with tasks including event logistics and social media outreach. Applicants must be fluent in Dutch and English. The deadline for applications is August 20th. For more details, including how to apply, download the pdf.
When young boys witness domestic violence, how does it impact them? New research sponsored by BvLF shows that the effects are profound and long lasting. Those boys are more likely to grow into men who have problems with self-esteem and depression, who beat their own partners and children, and who are violent in their communities.
For more, download the report pdf - Bridges to Adulthood Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence. The research is based on data from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in six countries (Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico, and Rwanda) and published by the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW).
By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 17 July 2012
June has been an incredibly busy but wonderful time for the Bernard van Leer Foundation. We had over 500 children in our office in The Hague. We witnessed wonderful results in Brazil where a € 3.7 billion federal programme to scale up services for young children in poverty was launched, and where 30 private and corporate foundations pledged their commitment to ‘invest in young children’. Read more
On July 8, the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s partner organisation INFANT organised the “biggest hug in the world” in Lima, Peru. Hundreds of children, adolescents and adults joined in a public display of affection to raise awareness of the issue of violence and humiliating physical punishment suffered by Peru’s children and adolescents, and to promote non-violent parenting.
The event was supported by a range of private, public and civil society organisations including Save The Children Peru, organisations of children and adolescents in Lima, the city's municipal authorities and Peru's Defensor del Pueblo (Public Ombudsman) Eduardo Vega Luna.
The latest edition of Early Childhood Matters explores the links between the living conditions that children grow up in and their health and development. It includes articles on air pollution, accidents, nature and child-friendly cities, and contributions from four continents. You can download the pdf, read on issuu.com or order a free printed copy.