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

Hidden Violence (Geheim Geweld) 31-05-2012

A film portraying the long term impact of child abuse is breaking through taboos.  

People who grew up with abuse and neglect find it difficult or impossible to process their feelings and they often experience life as a fight. The lack of safety, security and love brings about a long search for processing, recognition and acceptance.

In the film Bas van Hout, a Dutch crime reporter, and Hameeda Lakho, the Pakistan born author of 'Hitting Home' and founding member of 'Stichting Geheim Geweld', talk about their traumatic experiences and the long impact of child abuse. Read more...

Banking on baby's brain 16-05-2012

Lisa Jordan, Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 16 May 2012

Investing in young children is not rocket science. It’s actually neuroscience, with a little bit of molecular biology and genomics thrown in for good measure.

There is a revolution occurring today in neuroscience. What we are learning about children’s development is nothing short of a new paradigm. Everything you have always wanted to know about brain development and early childhood has been brought together in the latest Early Childhood in Focus #7.

Brain research is not telling us what to do with our kids. It is helping us understand why we do certain things with our babies and toddlers and what impact it has on their development. Read more

Call for Proposals on Impact Evaluation 02-05-2012

The Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) at the World Bank has opened the first call for proposals. This multi-donor trust fund, supported by DFID and administered by the World Bank's Human Development Network, will finance research evaluating the impact of programs to alleviate poverty and improve people’s lives. The knowledge generated will provide evidence for designing more effective policies and programs for improving human development outcomes, with a particular focus on programs that can be expanded in low-income countries. One of the research clusters is focused on Early Childhood Nutrition, Health and Development. Applications should be submitted by 8 a.m. (EST) on June 4, 2012. Please visit the website http://go.worldbank.org/YM02GKKFJ0 for more information.

Early Childhood In Focus on Developing Brains 27-04-2012

ECIF 7 cover‘Developing Brains’ is the latest edition of Early Childhood In Focus, a series of publications produced by the Child and Youth Studies Group at The Open University with the support of the Bernard van Leer Foundation. It covers key findings from neuroscience on the development of children’s brains and the effects of early experiences. The Early Childhood In Focus series provides accessible and clear reviews of the best and most recent available research, offering clear messages on core policy topics and questions. Download the pdf, read on issuu.com or order a free printed copy today.

Report published on children's rights in The Netherlands 03-04-2012

An independent report on the extent to which the Netherlands is meeting its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Kinderrechten in Nederland 2008-2012 (Children's Rights in The Netherlands) was published today. A collaboration of over 80 organisations, and with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation among others, the report focuses on how vulnerable groups of children are bearing the brunt of government austerity measures. Read more (in Dutch) on the website of Defence for Children - Netherlands.

Annual Report 2011 29-03-2012

AR 2011 cover

The Bernard van Leer Foundation's Annual Report 2011 is now available. The report details our grantmaking activities and financial situation for the past year. It includes programme overviews per country and at global level, reports on communications activities, contributions from the chair of the board of trustees and the executive director, and an executive summary in Spanish.

The Bernard van Leer Foundation receives the Slinger award 2011 for our Corporate Social Responsibility in The Hague 22-03-2012

The Bernard van Leer Foundation was proud to receive the Slinger award 2011 for our Corporate Social Responsibility in our hometown The Hague, along with PwC. We received the reward for donating computers and other equipment from our former office to community organisations in The Hague. Rutger, Manager Support Services, accepted the award (a white Stork, the symbol of the Hague) on our behalf . http://www.hofnet.nl/index.php?id=1079

BvLF seeks three interns for six month placements 22-03-2012

Are you a student at a Dutch institution looking to increase your experience, and motivated to support an international team that is working to improve the lives and opportunities of children around the world? Then we are looking for you. BvLF is recruiting three interns to work 24 hours a week for six months on the following areas: Dutch events and media; Research reporting; and Online communications. Deadline for application is 14th April.

Conference on mother tongue-based early education in India 19-03-2012

On March 22-23, BvLF will hold a two-day conference on mother tongue-based early childhood education for tribal children in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Invest in Young Children: A National Convention on Mother Tongue Based Early Childhood Education will bring together experts, practitioners, policy makers, grassroots activists and development partners to debate the issues.

BvLF responds to Netherlands strategy on Roma inclusion 10-03-2012

On 5 April 2011, the European Commission invited all member states to present a strategy for Roma inclusion, as part of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. On 16 June 2011, the Netherlands government published its policy on integration, social cohesion and citizenship. In line with the basic principle of this policy, the Netherlands government's Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations submitted a document to EC entitled "Policy measures in the Netherlands for the social inclusion of Roma". This document shares BvLF's response.

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