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
The conference ‘Small Children, Big Cities: Building Smart Child-Friendly Cities for 21st-century India’, organised by the Bernard van Leer Foundation with support from the National Institute of Urban Affairs and the Ministry of Urban Development, was held on 28 and 29 November 2014 in New Delhi, India. The participants discussed issues concerning urban infrastructure and services, such as housing, water and sanitation, and early childhood services, as well as issues regarding the quality of recreational spaces for children, and the transportation and mobility needs of children in cities. You can download the conference report - covering the highlights of the discussions, as well as the outcomes of the conference articulated as key recommendations and suggested guidelines - here, or you can read the report online.
Commemorating December 3rd the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on 2-5th December 2015 the first International Developmental Pediatrics (IDP) Congress is held in Istanbul, Turkey, organized by the Developmental Pediatrics Association (Gelişimsel Pediatri Derneği) in Turkey and Ankara University. Millions of children around the world are unable to develop to their full potential unlike their peers growing up in more supportive environments. The IDP Congress is a platform that will bring together clinicians, researchers and policy makers working in the field of developmental pediatrics from around the world to address this inequity. The IDP Congress will be held every two years in a low or middle-income country. The theme for this first IDP Congress is “AD-ECD: Addressing Difficulties in Early Childhood Development.” Read more
It is with sentiments of deep sorrow that we have received the message that our beloved colleague from the UBS Optimus Foundation, Reinhard Fichtl, passed away on 24 March. Reinhard was a leader helping to bring together foundations concerned with improving children's lives. He played a critical role in setting up the Violence and Children Evaluation Fund and was always a wonderful thought partner and colleague to our team at the Bernard van Leer Foundation. He was particularly well regarded for having worked for many years in the field of humanitarian relief - a perspective that kept him grounded in the realities of children and families. Although his passing make us all deeply sad, we acknowledge with gratitude that Reinhard lead a remarkable life -- a life of great contributions for the well-being of children, women and humanity at large. In this time of grief, we wish his family and friends much strength and fortitude in coping with the irreparable loss.
As the Bernard van Leer Foundation approaches the halfway point of its ten-year strategic plan, the Annual Report for 2014 shares facts, figures, lessons learned and stories detailing the progress made over the last year towards the three strategic goals and in the eight focus countries identified by the plan. The annual report features a foreword by the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Robert Swaak, a report by the Foundation's new Executive Director, Michael Feigelson, and an executive summary in Spanish.
You can download, read online or order your free printed copy of the Annual Report 2014 here.
'When I started working at the Foundation a year ago, my first task was to assist in the preparation of the publication Early Childhood Matters. The topic chosen for the issue was responsive parenting. As I did some deeper research I came across a quote by attachment theorist, John Bowlby: “If a community values its children, it must cherish their parents.”'
Read the blog post written by Katelyn Hepworth, Research & Evaluation Officer of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, on our corporate blog website.
In 2013, the Bernard van Leer Foundation supported Boğaziçi University, Humanist Bureau and Frekans Research to conduct a national scale survey on domestic violence against children aged 0-8 years in Turkey. The main objective of the survey is to obtain concrete data on the prevalence of domestic violence against children, the forms it takes, and particularly circumstances that lead to the use of violence. The target group of the survey consists of adults who are primarily responsible for the care of children between the ages of 0-8. Read or download the research report in English or in Turkish and have a look at the infographics in English or in Turkish.
Quality 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
Founder 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.