Novak Djokovic Foundation Helping Serbian Kindergarteners Prosper
All eyes were on Novak Djokovic over the past fortnight, as the Serbian exhibited tremendous form to claim his second Grand Slam championship in a row. But the 31-year-old was not the only one winning.
Back in his native Serbia, two kindergartens were winners, too. The Novak Djokovic Foundation donated more than €30,000 for the purchase of new furniture, sports materials and more to aid in the educational experience for the four classes housed at the schools.
"We are so excited to have been able to make this donation and to help children in Svilajnac have a better start in life," Jelena Djokovic, the co-founder and national director of the Novak Djokovic Foundation, told ATPWorldTour.com. "Their early years are so incredibly important and make the foundation upon which children can build their future. There are still so many children in Serbia that lack early childhood learning opportunities and seeing what we have achieved here today is what makes our work ever so meaningful and important.”
The kindergartens that the foundation donated materials to are located in Crkvenac and Bobovo, two villages in Svilajnac that each have less than 1,500 residents. The donation follows the mission of Djokovic’s foundation, which he founded in 2007 to work on providing underprivileged youth with the opportunity to receive a quality pre-school education.
“Cooperation with Svilajnac municipality has lasted for several years, and we are proud that it always results in better conditions for growing up and education of the children,” said Maja Kremic, who leads the Donation Program Department at the Novak Djokovic Foundation. “With the children, parents and teachers from Svilajnac we went through the support programs and professional development, and we are happy that 35 children from Svilajnac will soon be coming with us to the Friendship Games, a one-week long friendship camp in Kopaonik.”
The “Friendship Games”, created by the Novak Djokovic Foundation, is a camp for Serbian children aged 7 to 10 from socially disadvantaged communities. Its purpose is to encourage better youth socialisation and inclusion through a number of games, creative workshops and group activities that are led by specially educated personnel.
Earlier this year, before the Miami Open presented by Itau, Djokovic visited the Miami Children’s Museum to read Pete The Cat to 50 children.
"Obviously, being a child is something that every adult should always remind themselves of or think of, to keep that inner child, so to say, active and joyful throughout your life because we all shouldn’t take life too seriously and children remind us of that and remind us of what it is to be curious and to be happy to live in the present moment,” Djokovic said. “It was just overall a great experience that I’ll remember."
The Novak Djokovic Foundation received an ATP ACES For Charity grant in 2013 and 2017. In 2012, Djokovic was named the ATP World Tour's Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year.