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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.


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


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


There are 2,500 locations in Serbia without preschool infrastructure


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.

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.

Gorana Dzudza Jakovljevic

Project Manager

Gorana is a mother of a wonderful daughter Katja. She’s also an eternal optimist. She was born in Belgrade, Serbia, where she lives. In this city she graduated from the Faculty of Biology out of pure love for this science, with a desire to be in a position do something good one day.

She is proud to be a member of NDF team and feels privileged to be a part of the great ideas and successful projects which bring smiles to children’s faces and shine in their eyes, and also bring new possibilities in their growing up.

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.

Selena Ivanovic

Online Publishing Assistant

Born in Gornji Milanovac. In 2009 she enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at the Faculty of Economics, and has been living in Belgrade ever since. She has been active in sports throughout her life, starting at the age of 11. At the faculty, she took a lasting interest in student journalism, as an effective way to address issues relevant to young people. Author of occasional NDF blog posts, she is proud to be able to contribute to the Novak Djokovic Foundation’s efforts to change lives of less fortunate children for the better. All kids deserve to have the chance to dream big and we should help them make their dreams become realities.

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.

Ksenija Pavlović

Managing Editor

Ksenija Pavlovic is an international journalist and interviewer, author of the novel Letters to the Wind, poet and policy consultant. During 2012-2013 she held the appointments of the Head Writing Fellow at Yale Graduate Writing Center and the Teaching Fellow at Yale University. Her work has been featured in The Spectator, Spectator Life, Yale Herald, GALO and major national outlets on the Balkans.

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.

Ljiljana Mandrapa


I graduated from the Department of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade. As a student I became fond of Spanish too and since then I’ve been trying to develop fluency in it as well. Being part of big NDF family is truly an honour. The job of a translator isn’t as hard as people may think, though it requires constant professional improvement and a lot of devotion. Articles published on NDF blog are nicely written, sharing creative ideas and tips that can help parents to be and those already deep in parenting to raise their little ones in the best possible way. At least, I’ve learned how important is to embrace and appreciate every moment I spend with my daughter Mina.

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.

Aleksandra Radujko

PR and Board of Directors

Aleksandra is the owner and director of Public Relations company – New Media Team, PR of Novak Djokovic and Novak Djokovic Foundation for Serbia and the Adriatic region, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Novak Djokovic Foundation (Serbia).

She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science, concentration: Social Politics, but she found her true passion in journalism. After 9 years of working in the media, communications are her occupation.

Today, all her knowledge is directed into the work of the Foundation. Children, social policy, protection of the endangered are inexhaustible subjects and her inspiration

Dragana Djermanovic

External Consultant

Dragana Djermanovic is on-line PR practitioner and lecturer. She is the CSO (Chief Strategist Officer) at consulting agency PRpepper.

As a representative of The European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and Euroblog Association, she is also the honorable member of the jury for the Social Media Awards 2011 and the respectable ambassador of WebIT committee of Internet Practitioners of South-Eastern Europe. At WebCOM 2011 in Montreal, one of the most respectful web conferences in Canada, she was the keynote speaker on social web strategy in developing markets

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

18 Schools Built
325 Families Supported
636 Teachers Trained
10,000 Children Helped


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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