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

ReadyNation: Business leaders highlight importance of early childhood programmes in letter to UN 16-03-2015

Letter to UN about importance of Early Childhood Programs - ReadyNationQuality early childhood programmes create the foundation for workforce productivity and economic prosperity around the globe. That’s the message that the business leader group ReadyNation, partner of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, is sending to the United Nations in a new open letter released last week. The letter, signed by 51 business leaders spanning four continents, stresses the connection between quality early childhood programmes and a host of beneficial outcomes. It urges the United Nations to prioritize early childhood programmes in its final Sustainable Development Goals Report, to be released at the General Assembly this September. Read more

Lia van Leer, Grand Dame of Israeli Cinema (1924 – 2015) - She lived and died in beauty 16-03-2015

Lia van Leer - Founder and President of the Jerusalem CinemathequeFounder and President of the Jerusalem Cinematheque, Pioneer of Israeli Cinema, Lia van Leer passed away on March 13, 2015 at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Her love of cinema, her commitment to optimism, and her power of conviction were all part of her persona and the foundations upon which she established the Jerusalem Cinematheque. Lia was the wife of Wim van Leer, the eldest son of Bernard van Leer, who passed away in 1991.

Blog - Time for Child Care: The Need to Improve Access to Quality Care is Long Overdue 12-03-2015

No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project'Twenty years ago the historic UN Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995 brought together delegates from 189 nations around a platform of action that called for “the full and equal participation of women in political, economic, social and cultural life”. As the international community celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, commemorating achievements of women and girls throughout the world, how close are we to achieving that goal?'

Read the blog post written by Joan Lombardi, Senior Advisor of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, on our corporate blog website.

Blog - Mom, I'm on the blog! 05-03-2015

Onze Klas Mijn Wereld'Kids are writing and reading more than ever. They spend the entire day on their phones on WhatsApp, Facebook or myriad other websites that are mediated by written language. Who could have foreseen that smartphones would represent such an attack on functional illiteracy? They are a golden opportunity for language education – and yet, in school, they are usually forbidden. How strange.'

Read the new post on our blog website about 'Onze Klas Mijn Wereld', a method to work on social competence, language and ICT in primary schools, supported by the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

New website Elevate Children Funders Group is launched! 03-03-2015

Elevate Children Funders Group - new websiteThe Elevate Children Funders Group – of which the Bernard van Leer Foundation is a member - is a consortium of funders dedicated to building strong families and a life free from violence for all children, founded in 2011. You can read all about their mission and work on their newly launched website.

The importance of teaching through play - Private Sector Foundation Uganda 26-02-2015

New Vision - Play with your toddler, he will thank you for his brains‘Parents may not be around when their teenage children face important decisions about choosing peers, experimenting with drugs, engaging in sexual relationships, or staying in school. Yet, parents lay the foundations for their teenage children’s achievements Caroline Ariba writes.’

Read this article published in New Vision on 11 February 2015, about the importance of parents teaching through play for the development of their young children. Featured in this article is the event ‘grow with your child through play’ organised by our partner Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) as an urban subsidiary of their ‘Early Steps’ programme.

Blog - Inaugural conference of the Institute for Human Development, Nairobi 25-02-2015

Launch Institute for Human Development'Earlier this month I visited Nairobi to attend the launch of the Institute for Human Development, a new centre of excellence that will build capacity and drive innovation in research and higher education on human development. Its aim is to advance the quality of individual lives and contribute to the building of successful pluralistic societies, with a particular focus on children, families, and communities within resource-poor regions of the world.'

Read Programme Officer Karisia Gichuke's experiences at the launch of the Institute for Human Development in Nairobi, Kenya in her new blog.

Download the Global status report on violence prevention 2014 18-02-2015

WHO - Global status report on violence prevention 2014The Global status report on violence prevention 2014 (jointly published by WHO, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation), which reflects data from 133 countries, is the first report of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner and sexual violence, and elder abuse. The report takes stock of how governments are making a difference, by assessing the measures countries are taking to prevent and respond to interpersonal violence. But importantly the report also reveals gaps in global violence prevention that must be filled. Read more

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