One year ago, the Novak Djokovic Foundation raised more than $100,000 during its Season of Giving campaign, allowing it to open two kindergartens in Serbia. And now, the World No. 2’s foundation is beginning another Season of Giving campaign, attempting to reach $100,000 again.
The goal of the campaign is to provide 200 children access to a quality preschool education by opening new kindergartens, and the Djokovic family is poised to match all donations for the second straight year.
“Every child is a unique human being, full of undiscovered potential and talents. The power to shape their future and make the world a better place is in all of us,” Djokovic said in a statement. “By investing in the early development of children, apart from helping to form these young individuals and empowering them to grow into their potential, we are also investing in the future of the entire society”.
In February, the Novak Djokovic Foundation opened its first kindergarten of 2019 in the Macvan Prnjavor village, funding the reconstruction of an old health centre, modernising it and providing tools for more than 150 kids to attend preschool for the first time. Three working rooms and a common area at a preschool in Svilajnac was reconstructed and refurnished to allow for 75 additional children in the area to attend.
“Providing equal opportunities to children from all parts of our country is the mission of the Novak Djokovic Foundation and something we strive toward at all times. We have been cooperating with “Dečja radost” pre-school institution and Svilajnac municipality since 2014, when we had reconstructed and adapted the pre-school institution after floods, and it is our pleasure to return for such a nice occasion,” said Novak Djokovic Foundation Co-Founder and Global CEO Jelena Djokovic at the opening of the Svilajnac kindergarten. “The expansion of the capacities of the existing kindergarten is an encouraging beginning for children who will be able to learn, play and get true support here.”
The Novak Djokovic Foundation is also in the process of opening a kindergarten in Indjija next year. It has opened 44 kindergartens throughout Serbia and impacted more than 22,000 children and 1,500 teachers with its efforts. It received an ATP ACES For Charity grant in 2013 and 2017. and in 2012, Djokovic was named the ATP Tour’s Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year.
Not only is the Novak Djokovic Foundation providing new opportunities for children, but it is also helping experts in the field with their research. In 2016, the Djokovic Science and Innovation Fellowship was launched at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. Last year, the Djokovic Scholars initiative at the University of Belgrade was created to support new PhD students who are focussing their efforts on early childhood education and development.
Novak Djokovic and Jelena Djokovic also opened the seventh Friendship Games in Kopaonik this September, providing a week’s worth of activities for more than 130 local children who otherwise would not have the opportunity.
“Children always remind us what happiness is and how little it takes to get a genuine smile from them. Playing and spending time with friends are the best childhood memories, and our team is working daily to make sure every child in Serbia has those memories,” Novak Djokovic said at the time. “The smiling faces of these children are the best proof that what we’re doing, we’re doing right, and they are a motivation for us to keep going.”
The Serbian, who finished inside the top two of the year-end ATP Rankings for the eighth time, will begin his 2020 season at the ATP Cup in Brisbane before competing in Adelaide.