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why language skills?

If you can read and write well, it is easier to actively participate in daily life. In Europe, 70 million people experience great difficulty with reading and writing.

Low literacy is often passed on from generation to generation. Growing up in a family where little is spoken and read (aloud), the chance of low literacy increases considerably. HEMA Foundation wants to break this vicious circle with an effective family approach for families with children aged 0 – 4 years. We want to contribute to ensuring that all 4-year-olds go to primary school with the right language level.

our ambition

Low literacy is often passed on from generation to generation. The HEMA Foundation wants to break this vicious circle by developing an effective family-based approach, in partnership with literacy organisations and other parties. While there are already many language initiatives, there is plenty of space for innovation and for more connections between all these initiatives. That is why we offer an open platform for collective experimentation, developing innovative concepts and forging connections.

Low literacy is quite a taboo subject. To combat this, we are setting up awareness campaigns and are organising language activities for young and old, such as reading aloud afternoons and language lunches.

Finally, we give an impulse to existing language projects with guts. We support innovative and impactful language projects that stimulate language skills in families with young children (0 – 4 years). We make available expertise, resources and volunteers for this.

promoting inclusivity

Every three years, the HEMA Foundation boosts a theme that contributes to inclusivity. Between now and 2022, the topic is language skills. We will carefully consider the next topic that would benefit from our support, and which aligns closely with our mission. The topics we choose always align with the Sustainable Development Goals. These are 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aimed at making the world a better place by 2030. The HEMA Foundation also takes an in-depth look into the social and sustainable needs that exist in the community, and tries to meet these needs. To do so, the HEMA Foundation works with a range of partners including NGOs, experts, academies, companies and emerging talent.

In this way, the HEMA Foundation ensures that participation in daily life becomes a matter of course. For everyone.


launch HEMA Foundation

Voorleesactiviteit Inclusiviteit HEMA Foundation

Reading aloud afternoon


striking sparks session