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

Business Benefiting Children business plan competition 10-02-2011

Calling all entrepreneurs in Tanzania, Uganda, India, Turkey, Peru or Brazil. Do you have a business idea that could have a positive impact on young children by improving the physical environment in which they grow up? Examples could be cleaner energy, water and sanitation solutions, better housing, safer transport, safer places to play, and so on. Are you seeking finance in the range of US$ 10,000 to US$ 1 million? If so, check out the Business Benefiting Children competition sponsored by BvLF and implemented by the BiD Network. You could win support from a coach to improve your business plan, a business trip for training, and access to over 100 investors. The deadline to submit your short business plan is March 15th for Peru and Brazil and March 31st for Turkey, India, Uganda and Tanzania.   


Professor Nathaniel Laor to deliver 2011 Van Leer Lecture 04-02-2011

Professor Nathaniel Laor — one of the world’s leading experts in the traumatic impact of disasters on children, families, and communities — will deliver the 2011 Van Leer Lecture on Sunday, April 10, at the Council on Foundations Annual Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A. He will discuss the harrowing impact of violence in children’s lives and offer ways to build resilience to traumatic events. Read more (pdf)


Arrested parents, arrested development 03-02-2011

Imagine you are a young child and one of your parents is in prison. Perhaps you don’t know – maybe you unexpectedly went to live with your aunt, who told you your mother was called away on an important secret mission. When relatives are caring for children of imprisoned parents, they often will try to shield the child from the truth. Read more

International conference on early childhood and ethnic diversity 02-02-2011

A long-standing BvLF project, Una: The Global Learning Initiative on Children and Ethnic Diversity (formerly JLICED – Joint Learning Initiative for Children and Ethnic Diversity) is holding an international conference in Amsterdam on May 12-14. Spearheaded by Professor Paul Connolly of Queen's University Belfast, Una is a global, inter-disciplinary network of leading researchers and practitioners committed to reducing racial and ethnic divisions and building socially inclusive communities through the promotion of effective early childhood programs. Aimed at practitioners, researchers and policymakers, the conference - Building peacable communities: The power of early childhood - will explore the power of early childhood as a force for reducing racial and ethnic divisions and building peaceable communities. NB: The call for papers deadline is March 11th.


Early Childhood in Focus on Attachment Relationships published in Hungarian 19-01-2011

The first issue of Early Childhood in Focus, on Attachment Relationships: Quality of Care for Young Children, is now available in pdf format in Hungarian translation. Published in collaboration with the Open University, Early Childhood in Focus accessibly reviews the best and most recent research, information and analysis on key policy issues, offering clear messages for advocates.


The Netherlands goes open source: an interview with Trude Maas 18-01-2011

On January 17th an interview with Trude Maas-de Brouwer, Trustee of the Bernard van Leer Foundation,  appeared in the Dutch newspaper Sp¡ts. It is part of a series by Sp¡ts reporter Alexander Bakker talking to influential people on how the Netherlands will look in 2030. You can find the article online in Dutch here, or read a summary in English.

Headlines we would like to see in 2011 13-01-2011

Children learning in Israel

  • Israel: Drop Out Rates Lowest in a Decade
  • Kids Council Convinces Government to Improve Quality of Pre-School
  • National Funds Doubled for Babies and Toddlers
  • Corporate Leaders for Kids Chapter Opens in Israel
  • Roma Children Gain Access to Quality Education
  • Juarez: 6000 Safe Spaces for Kids Created
  • Peru: Mayors Mobilized for Children
  • Kids Parliament Commands National Attention
  • Caribbean: Banks Establish National Trust for Children’s Care
  • Netherlands: Family Violence Reduced
  • Uganda: Community Contracts Eliminate Family Violence
  • Corporations Stand up for Kids Rights

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2011!

Haiti one year on 12-01-2011

The Bernard van Leer Foundation joins Partners in Health in commemorating the 1st anniversary of the terrible earthquake that devastated Haiti one year ago today.

Young Children were not only high among the casualties of that fateful day, they also suffered disproportionally in the aftermath. Lack of food, clean water and safe spaces, increased violence and disease remains a reality for young children in Haiti today.  All these factors impact the health, security and their opportunities to learn,  meaning they will be affected by the earthquake both physically, mentally and emotionally for the rest of their lives. 

That is why continued attention for the situation of young children in Haiti remains a global responsibility. Partners in Health is one of the few aid organizations that before and after the earthquake has consistently worked to build the capacity of the Haitian government to provide basic services for children. Bernard van Leer is proud to support their important work.



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