The Lolle Nauta Foundation (LNF) formally started in 2004 to stimulate the study of education, developmental psychology, and child and family studies at African universities. It is named after the Dutch philosopher Lolle Nauta who was a philosophy professor at the University of Zambia at Lusaka from 1979-1982.
Together with Adriana Bus I initiated the Foundation in the course of repeated visits to the University of Zambia at Lusaka (UNZA). Invited by the vice-chancellor of UNZA, at that time professor Robert Serpell, we were informed of the lack of sufficient opportunities for graduate education in child development, education, and family studies.
The LNF was founded to provide for financial and educational support of prospective African students and faculty who would want to pursue advanced studies in child development, family studies, and education. The main goal of the LNF is to support (future) scientists of whom it can be expected that they will contribute to the further development in the fields of child and family studies, pedagogics, education and developmental psychology in their own country after finishing their education and training in and/or through Leiden University.
Because the LNF focuses on training of students in the area of child development and early childhood education, we hope that in the long run the family support systems and early educational systems for numerous children growing up in resource-limited African countries will be improved as the academic and professional resources will become available in the local communities. Students are provided with the academic and professional skills to contribute to the solution of various child development issues African countries are struggling with (e.g., HIV-infected children, abandoned children and orphans; children dropping out of school too early in their development –these have been and will be topics of MA and PhD research supported by LNF).
Three PhD projects have been successfully finished (dr Sophie Kasonde, UNZA, Zambia; dr Beatrice Matafwali, UNZA, Zambia; dr Catherine Mbagaya, Maseno University, Kenya). Another four PhD projects are on their way. Several master students have been supported successfully as well, and a newly developed MA program in developmental psychology at UNZA has received LNF support in grants and manpower.