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
'A few years ago in Riga, Latvia, I noticed something that surprised me: lots of men pushing prams. You’d expect this in Sweden but not so much in the former Soviet Union.
It signalled a trend: the rise of the global father. Around the world, in some very unlikely countries, men are taking a bigger role in childrearing (from a low base). Rather than the end of men, this is their reinvention...' - Simon Kuper (FT Magazine, 10 October 2014)
Read the complete article by Simon Kuper - with contribution of the Bernard van Leer Foundation - on 'FT Magazine'.
Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, welcomes three new partners to the Saving Brains Grand Challenge: Aga Khan Foundation Canada, Norlien Foundation and World Vision Canada. These organizations strengthen the existing partnership with the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation.
The news coincides with an announcement of more than $2.9 million in funding for 11 new bold ideas aimed at improving the early brain development of infants and children in low-resource countries. Read more
The documentary ‘Migrating Childhood’ about the lives of migrant children at worksites in India, produced by our partner Aide et Action, was released last Monday. The Bernard van Leer Foundation works with Aide et Action to improve the living conditions of migrant children. The young migrants generally accompany their parents and live in very unhealthy, unfriendly environments like brick kilns and building construction sites, and are excluded from accessing quality child care. This often results in malnourishment, illness and morbidity, which also hampers their psychological, cognitive and physical growth. Read more
Today the publication ‘Jong geleerd’ (taught early), a 20-page supplement of the Dutch newspaper NRC weekend, is distributed. This supplement, about the importance of investing in the early years, is an initiative of the Bernard van Leer Foundation. Scientific research proves that investing in the development of young children is of great importance; for individuals, but also for our economy and society. However, the attention for the importance and impact of early learning is still very limited in the Netherlands. We hope that this supplement can be of influence in changing this. Sharing knowledge on this topic and increasing opportunities for young children is one of the key objectives of the Bernard van Leer Foundation. Read more
On August 5th the ceremony for the 1st National Award for Projects with Child Participation (Prêmio Nacional de Projetos com Participação Infantil) was held in Ipanema, Brazil. The first prize winning project is: Escola de Comunicação da Meninada do Sertão (Fundação Casa Grande Memorial do Homem Kariri). The competition, conducted by CECIP (Centro de Criação da Imagem Popular), with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation, aims to enrich the field and practical discussions around the idea of child participation in Brazil. Read more
'In 2007 The Lancet medical journal published an article stating that more than 200 million children under five fail to reach their potential in cognitive development because of poverty, poor health and nutrition, and lack of responsive caregiving. This statistic made the rounds in the worlds of public health, education and other segments of society generally focused on the welfare of our youngest citizens. Unfortunately, it did not achieve the same degree of penetration among one of the most powerful global communities --- business leaders. Why?' - Michael Feigelson, Interim Executive Director (The Guardian, 1 August 2014)
Read the complete article by Michael Feigelson in 'The Guardian'.
'Violence is preventable' is the message in a new film launched by WithoutViolence. This animated film outlines facts about the impact of violence and gives some examples of the ways in which violence in the lives of children has been effectively reduced around the globe.
WithoutViolence is a new field-building pilot project designed to help violence prevention leaders and practitioners communicate solutions and accelerate their impact for improving the lives of boys and girls. WithoutViolence is funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. Read more
Michael Feigelson today takes over as interim Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, following the departure of Lisa Jordan.
The proud father of a new baby daughter, Michael has worked for the Foundation since 2007, most recently as Programme Director. He has spent the last 15 years focused on working with governments, civil society and business to improve opportunities for children and youth around the world. He is a former Thomas J. Watson Fellow and McKinsey & Company consultant and has degrees from Princeton and Wesleyan University. Read more about Michael and the rest of the Foundation team here.