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

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.

Making Young Children Everyone’s Business 06-03-2012

Lisa Jordan, Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 6 March 2012

Mentioning business and children in one sentence makes some people uncomfortable. However, we believe that the private sector has an important role to play in making life better for kids. That’s why last week I was in Uganda, to give an award for the business that is doing the most to improve opportunities for young children.

Organised in partnership with Uganda’s Private Sector Foundation, the Excellence in Investing in Young Children Awards attracted 58 entries, plenty of attention and over 300 attendees at the gala awards presentation. Uganda’s 10.8 million under-8s certainly need all the visibility they can get; almost 40% of the country’s young children suffer from malnutrition and stunting.

What can Uganda’s businesses do for these kids? Three things. Read more

Outcomes we would like to see in 2012 17-02-2012

Outcomes we would like to see in 2012

By Lisa Jordan, Executive Director, 17 February 2012

January is a month of reflection and planning, in which we evaluate progress made and formulate concrete outcomes for the coming year in the context of longer term programs to change the lives of young children. To give you an impression of our focus on changing the lives of children in 2012, below we present concrete outcomes we will be working to see this year. In January 2013 I will be able to share with you if we were successful and what made the difference, and if we were not successful what were the challenges. Read more

The First Biennial Tanzanian National Forum on Early Childhood Development in Arusha,Tanzania 08-02-2012

Bernard van Leer Foundation is co-funding The First Biennial Tanzanian National Forum on Early Childhood Development in Arusha, Tanzania. 

Please share the link to spread the news and help generate support for
Tanzanian’s youngest citizens.


Roma students excel in UK schools 21-12-2011

Equality, in cooperation with the Roma Education Fund, carried out research in the United Kingdom to find out what impact mainstream schooling had on Roma children who had previously been streamed into special or de facto segregated schools.

The findings of this pilot research, From Segregation to Inclusion, show that Roma pupils in the United Kingdom quickly catch up with their non-Roma peers to gain an attainment level comparable with average, a huge achievement in light of the obstacles these children have faced in their home countries in Central Europe.

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