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Djokovic Foundation hosts Friendship Games, launches School of Life

Djokovic Foundation hosts Friendship Games, launches School of Life

By Nancy Heslin - October 25, 2017

Photo: Novak Djokovic Foundation
Photo: Novak Djokovic Foundation

Images from the fifth Drugarijada – “Friendship Games” – which took place from September 18 to 23 in Kapaonik, Serbia, have just been published.

The week was organised by the Novak Djokovic Foundation (NDF) in partnership with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, and enabled more than 150 children aged 6 to 10, from disadvantaged communities, to take part in a number of activities.

From drowning prevention and water safety exercises, and from flying kites and sports competitions to Red Cross workshops, the youngsters experienced the values of working together and building team spirit. They all learned while having fun, gaining confidence and making friends.

Novak Djokovic, founder of NDF in November 2007, explained, “I want to help other kids as well to learn from my example that many things are possible if we only believe in ourselves and work hard to fulfil our dreams. I’m coming from a war torn country, a place where many kids do not dare to dream big.”

The Monaco-resident added, “I was blessed to have the support of my whole family while growing up. They believed in me and dreamed with me. Because of their trust, love and support, and all the hard work invested, I made my biggest dream come true. I’ve become one of the best tennis players in the world.

NDF opened its 11th School of Life earlier this month, in the Serbian village of Deronje, in the municipality of Odzaci, welcoming 50 boys and girls, 3-5 years old, from the village and the nearby region.

The Foundation donated €38,655 for the reconstruction and equipping of the facility “Carolija” with toys, books, didactic materials and new play sets that have been installed in the preschool yard. In cooperation with CIP – Center for Interactive Pedagogy, specialised training seminars and workshops, designed to support professional development of educators, were also held as part of the project.

Gorana Dzudza Jakovljevic, NDF project manager, commented the Schools of Life project is “extremely important” for the Foundation. “Through its implementation we try to create best possible conditions for education and development of children in economically challenged areas in Serbia and at the same time give them a chance to reach their full potential and fulfil all their dreams.”

To date, 500 children have been provided access to high-quality preschool programs and eleven preschools have received professional support to enhance the quality of their teaching practice and cooperate more with parents and local partners, added Dzudza Jakovljevic.

READ ALSO Djokovic and Williams inaugurate Europe’s biggest tennis academy



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