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