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About Us

Champions are not born.
They are nurtured, encouraged, educated, and loved.
We at the NDF never forget what it takes to create a champion.

Get To Know Us
Champions are not born.
They are nurtured, encouraged, educated, and loved.
We at the NDF never forget what it takes to create a champion.

Who We Are

We are a group of passionate and determined people who want to make a difference and who deeply believe that every child matters.

By giving every child the opportunity to receive a quality preschool education, we are giving them a chance t0 flourish. To know the joy of success.

To believe that they are worthy of their dreams. Early childhood education is the foundation upon which they will stand for the rest of their lives, and the foundation for the future of our world.

Our Pledge

By making long-term investments in early childhood education programs, we are investing in everyone’s future. More importantly, we are investing in dreams.

In hope. In change. In victory.

It’s that simple.

180k

There are currently 180,000 three-year old children in Serbia.

1/2

Every one in two children do not have access to preschool education.

2.5k

There are 2,500 locations in Serbia without preschool infrastructure

90k

At least 90,000 children are left at a disadvantage.

We want to change this!

How We Work

We ONLY invest in projects that are going to be sustainable.

By taking a collaborative approach and working alongside local authorities to train and empower teachers, we create self-sustaining schools and programs that will help children realize their dreams for the rest of their lives.

See our projects

The Founder of the NDF

“I grew up in a country historically torn by different conflicts, but, nevertheless, a country where children still dream big…Let us believe in their dreams!”

Novak Djokovic

The Founder of the NDF
Read Letter

Alberto Lidji

Global CEO

Alberto Lidji is Global CEO of the Novak Djokovic Foundation. Formerly, he was at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation (a global organisation focused on non-formal education, with one million young participants in over 140 countries) and was Head of Development of Trinity College at Cambridge University (an institution with a $1bn endowment and 32 Nobel Prizes).

Alberto is passionate about the value of Early Childhood Education (ECE) – he has two young children and served as a School Governor (appointed by the City of Westminster) at two nursery schools located in an underprivileged part of London, UK.

Alberto has a degree from Cambridge University and a Masters in Management from the London School Economics (LSE).

Jelena Djokovic

Co-Founder and National Director

Jelena Djokovic is the National Director of the Novak Djokovic Foundation and is on the board of directors for the Novak Djokovic Foundation USA and UK.

The diploma and knowledge acquired at the prestigious universities, such as ‘Luigi Bocconi’ and International University of Monaco (IUM), have given her the much needed assets to be an important part of the Novak Djokovic team, an executive of NDF (both on national and global level), and the director and founder of the student magazine Original – a start up of which she is very proud.

Jelena is also a mother to a 17-month old child. Early childhood education and development are very important part of her life now and she is embracing them not only through her role of a mother but also through her work in the Foundation.

Maja Kremic

Fundraising Programs and Donors Relationship Manager

The motto of our Foundation “Believe in their dreams” I embrace as my own. If we believe in our dreams and work hard to make them come true, everything is possible. Life’s a marathon, not a sprint! It takes time to get where you want to be, but in the end good things always find their way back to us.

I really love my job, and I’m proud to be part of the team that brings smiles to children throughout our country, and strives to provide them with best possible conditions to have a brighter future, education and childhood. Education is something no one can take away from us.

Marija Ristic

Head of Communications and Editor-in-Chief for NDF Blog

Marija Ristić is Head of Communications for the Novak Djokovic Foundation and the Editor-in-chief for NDF blog.

She graduated in International Relations and Comparative Politics from Augustana College in 2008 and got her MBA degree with concentration in Financial Management from Lincoln University in 2010. Before joining NDF team, she also worked in finance and renewable energy sector.

Marija enjoys art, photography, skiing and good books.

Marko Kovacevic

Project Manager Assistant

Marko grew up in Zemun. He got his degree in social work at the Faculty of political sciences in Belgrade. In accordance with his profession, he tries to confront the world with as much optimism and pragmatism. He spends his time enjoying good food, music, films, books, spending time with friends, and soaking in everything that Belgrade and our country can offer. Working at Novak Djokovic Foundation fulfills him because it enables him to have an influence on a better future for generations to come in a positive and practical way. The energy this engagement brings he wouldn’t trade for anything and he believes that a day started with this mission in mind is never a day wasted.

Andjelka Janic

Project Manager Assistant

Andjelka was born in Kraljevo. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade, department for Social policy and social work, which is not the only field of her interests, but is still something on which she educates herself in theory and praxis. During her studies she had an opportunity to gain significant experience working with children of different ages abilities and behaviors. As a part of the Foundation she gladly participates in creation of better opportunities for growing up and self-realization of our youngest. Thanks to the team she is in and the children from different parts of the country she meets, she daily learns something new and different.

Bojana Rangelov

Project Manager Assistant

Bojana is from Belgrade.She graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences, Department of Social Policy and Social Work.During her studies, she volunteered in various institutions with the aim to help children and young people. From December 2013, she is officially a member of NDF team, responsible for implementation of the projects and activities.

Vlada Arbutina

“Senior” Administration Officer

Vlada Arbutina, better known as Uncle Brka, was born in Belgrade. He spent decades working in education, military and private business, but only in his mature age did he find himself immersed into the humanitarian work the Foundation does. While he is waiting for his grandchildren to be born, he is dedicating all his strength and experience to NDF. He looks forward to each day spent working and socializing with younger colleagues at NDF because he believes that they refine him and make him feel younger.

Our Gratitude

The NDF works with partners from all over the world to achieve our goal of a quality preschool education for all.
We owe our deepest gratitude to everyone who believes, as we do, in every child.

You have our thanks, but more importantly, you have theirs.

Our Results Thanks to YOU

37 Schools Built
683 Families Supported
1322 Teachers Trained
20,708 Children Helped

Financials

We operate with complete financial transparency.

Read our annual reports, and see exactly where your money is going.

Read Annual Reports

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