“Something Incredibly Important”: Novak Djokovic Lays Down Plans of His Foundation in Serbia

Published 09/29/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
Sep 2, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after recording match point against Tallon Griekspoor of Netherlands in a second round match on day four of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports


The Novak Djokovic Foundation (NDF) has been tremendously successful in providing children in Serbia with the opportunity to receive a quality preschool education. Founded in 2007, the foundation invests in early childhood education with a focus on Serbia, a country where only one in two children has access to preschool education.

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Recently, Vienna-based Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), uploaded a video of Novak Djokovic speaking about his foundation’s work. In April of this year, Djokovic became the brand ambassador for RBI and its subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Sep 8, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits to Matteo Berrettini of Italy on day ten of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

During their partnership, the RBI would help Djokovic built a tennis academy in Belgrade and support young players to become champions both on and off the field.

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Novak Djokovic Foundation: Making a profound difference

In the short video, the tennis star described being appalled when UNICEF provided his foundation with details that over 50% of children in Serbia didn’t have access to pre-school education, during his stint as a UNICEF Serbia Ambassador (2011-2015). Since then, his foundation has primarily focused on pre-school education.

“We felt like that’s (pre-school education) something that is incredibly important for the nation, for, you know, the future of Serbia and education. So we wanted to tackle that. Ten years later, we’ve covered more than 40,000 children, we’ve had almost 50 kindergartens that have been rebuilt or built from scratch,” said Djokovic.

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The NDF has been working closely with local municipalities to train and empower teachers and create self-sustaining schools. While the plan is to focus on Serbia, Djokovic mentioned his foundation’s intention to expand beyond Serbia in the long term.

“We do have an intention to expand, so to say, the areas of interest and work of our foundation over the borders of Serbia. But for now, we want to make sure every child in Serbia has a possibility and access to early childhood development institution or preschool,” said Djokovic.

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His wife, Jelena Djokovic, is the co-founder and Global CEO of the foundation. The organization has made a significant impact in providing children with quality pre-school education through various projects.

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Kshitij Tayal

489 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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