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

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

Presentations 'Small Children, Big Cities' conference now available! 18-02-2015

All the presentations held during the 'Small Children, Big Cities' conference in New Delhi, India (28-29 November 2014), hosted by the Bernard van Leer Foundation in partnership with Ministry of Urban Development, National Institute of Urban Affairs and School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, are now available on the conference website. You can read and download all the presentations here.

Blog - Calling for a two generation approach to child development 13-02-2015

Stepping up Early Childhood Development - World Bank'Over the years there has been a long standing recognition that child development is influenced by conditions facing families and in turn families are influenced by the community around them. These concepts have recently received renewed attention through a new report released by the World Bank, Stepping Up Early Childhood Development: Investing in Young Children for High Returns (Dendoba et al, 2014). The document provides a simple guide for policymakers and practitioners about how to invest in young children and families.'

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

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