Djokovic Helps Raise More Than $100,000 In 'Season Of Giving' Campaign
Editor's Note: This story was updated on 27 January to reflect final monetary figures.
Novak Djokovic enjoyed a tremendous 2018 season on the court, climbing from as low as No. 22 in the ATP Rankings to World No. 1, finishing the year atop tennis’ mountain for the fifth time. The Serbian then got off to the quickest start possible this year, winning a record seventh Australian Open. But Djokovic is not only succeeding on the court.
Djokovic and his wife, Jelena Djokovic, matched all donations to his Novak Djokovic Foundation — dollar-for-dollar — through 8 January as part of a ‘Season of Giving’ campaign. The campaign met its goal by raising more than $100,000 to benefit the foundation's school builds program. The Novak Djokovic Foundation hopes to use this campaign to build more preschools in Serbia in order to help enroll more children in quality early childhood education.
“According to the current state of affairs in Serbia, every second child doesn’t have the possibility to attend a pre-school program. Thankfully, we, adults, have the power to transform their lives and shape their future for the better,” Djokovic said in a statement. “So, this and every holiday season, it is so important to remember that there are so many kids out there who need our help and support to become the champions of their own dreams, and that’s why Jelena and I decided to do whatever we can to affect this change in our society.”
The Novak Djokovic Foundation invested $751,802 in 2017 alone, and continued its efforts in a major way in 2018. In just one example, the foundation donated more than €30,000 for the purchase of new furniture, sports materials and more to aid in the educational experience for four classes housed at two kindergartens in Serbia. To date, the foundation has reconstructed or built 41 kindergartens, and its work has benefitted more than 22,000 children. Thanks to the efforts of the Djokovic family and the kindness of those who have donated in their 'Season of Giving' campaign, those numbers will continue to rise.
"Investing in early childhood development is so important to us because we believe that to invest in early years is to invest in the future of our kids and the future of our world. Novak and I were so lucky to have had quality support, care and education at those formative years, but there are more than 50 per cent of kids in our country that don’t have this option," said Jelena Djokovic, the co-founder and Global CEO of the Novak Djokovic Foundation. "That’s why this fundraiser is so important — to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood development and to motivate people to give back, because together, we can achieve so many great things!"
But that's not all: the Novak Djokovic Foundation continues to support the Djokovic Science and Innovation Fellowship at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, giving doctoral students the ability to further their research in an attempt to improve the quality of early childhood development and education throughout the world. So while Djokovic continues to succeed on the court, his impact is felt off of it, too. Read More: Novak Partners With Harvard To Defeat ‘Toxic Effects Of Child Poverty’
"We are seeing similar problem in more or less many undeveloped countries. Novak is invited on many fronts to help out, especially in the field of education and sport. Our country is small, almost invisible to so many people. We feel big loyalty and need to first clean up our own garden before we tackle other world’s issues," said Jelena Djokovic. "We are learning so much every day on the field. We hope to use that knowledge for furthering our mission and vision beyond Serbia in the upcoming years."