The Bernard van Leer Foundation is a private grant-making foundation. 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 promote more cohesive, considerate and creative societies with equal opportunities and rights for all. 

Latest news from the Bernard van Leer Foundation

Summer and Success 17-07-2012

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

Campaigning against violence in Peru with the "world's largest hug" 10-07-2012

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.

You can express your support via the camapign's Facebook page, watch associated videos on INFANT’s blog and YouTube channel, and read the Peruvian news agency Andina's report on the July 8 event.

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.

ECM looks at living conditions and children's health 03-07-2012

ECM 118 coverThe 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 or order a free printed copy


Young Talents at the Music Media Experience - Download Your Ringtones... 20-06-2012

Children created a variety of ringtones during the "Music Media Experience" at our opening.  If you made a ringtone, you can download it.  Click on the photo to the ringtone site. 


Festival Classique 14-06-2012

We are happy that you will be joining us for the new media music experience on the 15th of June 2012.

Zaterdag 16 juni & zondag 17 juni | 13.00 tot 16.00 uur |
Kantoor Bernard van Leer Foundation | Lange Houtstraat 2

3rd annual European Prisoners' Children Week (1 – 8 June) 01-06-2012

This Friday June 1st, the European Network for Children of Imprisoned Parents (EUROCHIPS) are launching their 3rd annual European Prisoners' Children Week (1 – 8 June) to raise awareness about this vulnerable group of children and their specific set of circumstances.

This year, the campaign is entitled Not my Crime, Still my Sentence; which was inspired by the various experiences of which these children are vulnerable, including stigma, bullying, social isolation, developmental (as well as financial hardships), and separation anxiety. Read more...

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

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