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Bernard van Leer Foundation

The Hague, Netherlands

Since its inception, the Bernard van Leer Foundation has worked in more than 50 countries and invested over half a billion dollars toward our mission: “To improve opportunities for young children growing up in circumstances of social and economic disadvantage”. Bernard van Leer was an entrepreneur who built a large global packaging company. After witnessing the destruction of World War II, Bernard was inspired to invest in improving society and started the Foundation in 1949 with a wide range of philanthropic activities. After Bernard passed away in 1958, his son Oscar took over the packaging company and the Foundation. Oscar focused the Foundation on young children. He believed that giving all children a good start in life was not only the fair thing to do, but also an effective pathway to building more peaceful, prosperous and creative societies. More information about the Bernard van Leer Foundation can be found on our website: