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
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.
'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.
'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.
The 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.