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
We are currently seeking an exceptional individual to take on the role of Programme Director. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Programme Director’s main responsibilities will be to: lead and manage a global team whose work currently spans eight countries and involvement in a variety of international partnerships, act as one of the Foundation’s principal advocates, responsible for brokering and leading a set of strategic partnerships that help leverage Foundation knowledge for impact on young children around the world. More information about the vacancy can be found here.
The Israeli government has asked BvLF partner AJEEC-NISPED to roll out its Al-Sanabel school catering business nationwide in 2015. It continues the remarkable success story of a social enterprise that the Foundation has helped to fund.
Read the new blog on Bedouin women and children in Israel on our corporate blog website.
This is one of the videos of the series ‘Toca la Puerta’ (Knock on the Door) created by children of Iquitos, Peru, and their parents, with support from our partner INFANT. They produce videos similar to those of India’s ‘Ring the Bell’ to encourage people to interrupt violence in neighboring households. In this example, children give away sugar to a dad who is mistreating his son. They want the dad to be sweeter. The most interesting aspect of the initiative is that many of the parents that play the role of abusers, used to punish their children themselves. After this experience, they commented about how wrong they were. More information about ‘Toca la Puerta’ can be found on the website of INFANT.
The International Consultation, convened in Leiden (the Netherlands) in September 2014, brought together early childhood experts and stakeholders - supported by ISSA, UNICEF, UNESCO and the Bernard van Leer Foundation, in partnership with the World Bank and the Brookings Institution - representing different regions of the world, who have experience in the measurement and improvement of quality of early years services. The meeting aimed to identify points of consensus in measuring quality and future directions for increasing the strength, innovation and cultural applicability of quality measurement. A report on the International Consultation can be downloaded here.
In 2014, the Bernard van Leer Foundation and FORUM supported the Verwey-Jonker Institute to carry out qualitative research among 40 hard-to-reach families, to provide insight into the reasons why some families do not send their toddlers to VVE (early learning services) in the Netherlands, and to suggest steps that need to be taken. Among the reasons given by mothers interviewed are that they do not know what different services can offer, they do not feel the need to use these services as they are not working, and they believe young children are better off spending time with their mothers than at a facility. The research (in Dutch) can be downloaded here.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Prize, created by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 2012 to honour their founder and the multiple dimensions of his personality, is awarded annually to an individual or non-profit organization. With a value of €250,000, the Prize will distinguish an individual or institution whose thoughts or actions make a decisive contribution to, and have significant impact on understanding, defending or fostering the universal values of the human condition: namely, the respect for diversity and difference, a culture of tolerance and the conservation of the environment in man’s relationship with nature. You can submit a nomination for the 2015 edition of the Calouste Gulbenkian Prize here.
Fighting discrimination is a long journey marked by many small steps. An example: in April 2014, Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino banned the use of “nomad” – a word that was perpetuating outdated stereotypes and prejudices – to refer to Roma people in official policy and institutional documents. It followed a specific request from Foundation partner Associazione 21 Iuglio, and reflects an ongoing transformation in public attitudes.
Read the new blog on Roma children on our corporate blog website.
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.