There is something very powerful and life-changing about going somewhere unknown, with new people, and experiencing different adventures. If children never try anything new, how will they ever broaden their horizons and discover their own limitless potential?
We have been organizing the Friendship Games camp since 2013, with a goal to create a stimulating environment for children 7 to 10 years old who are from rural areas and disadvantaged communities in Serbia. These children usually attend combined classes of students of different ages and grades and one teacher that works with all of them at the same time.
Due to the small number of students in such classes and the often difficult financial situation of their families, these children don’t have the opportunity to enjoy school trips. They don’t have access to any activities that are common for their peers from urban areas, like visits to the cinema, theater or museums.
We organize a camp filled with various indoor and outdoor activities: kite flying, swimming, singing classes, first aid tutorials, theatre plays, quizzes and other educational experiences. During those 6 days, children acquire new knowledge and skills and spend quality time with their peers. The majority of them get to experience these activities for the first time.
For children from disadvantaged communities, the Friendship Games camp is usually the first time to go on a trip outside their village and to meet their peers from other parts of Serbia. Through all the activities, we encourage them to make new friends, to nurture empathy and diversity and to overcome any stereotypes that they might have.
Our volunteers play an important role in organizing the Friendship Games. They are the ones who help us entertain children, take care of them, and teach them something new. During those six days, an unbreakable bond develops between the children and the volunteers. A special friendship is born, full of trust, sincerity, and love.
Our Friendship Games camp is not only an adventure for children but for their teachers as well. Teachers take part in all the educative activities that we organize and learn how to implement them as a part of their curriculum afterward. The activities give them ideas on how to enrich their teaching methods and include outdoor learning.
Even after its end, the spirit of the Friendship Games camp continues to live on. With the help of our partners, we provide all participants with learning material which makes their further education much easier.
So much love, joy and beautiful memories. Take a look at how Friendship Games grew over the years.
More than 50 elementary school students from Serbia took part in the first Friendship Games camp which was held from October 3rd to October 6th on Kopaonik.
As part of the children’s week, the second Friendship Games camp was held in Belgrade and included a five-day gathering of 50 children from Merošina, Kraljevo and Vladičin Han
The 3rd Friendship Games were officially opened by our founders Novak and Jelena Djokovic. The camp was organized in Zlatibor and was held for six days. There was a total of 79 children from Valjevo, Vladimirci, Lučani, and Mačkat who participated, as well as 13 volunteers and 10 teachers.
The 4th Friendship Games returned to Kopaonik and were officially opened by our founders Novak and Jelena Djokovic. There was a total of 108 children from Aleksandrovac, Gornji Milanovac, Žitorađa, Pećinci, and Šid who participated, as well as 14 volunteers and 12 teachers.
The 5th Friendship Games took place at the Kopaonik mountain and were officially opened by Novak and Jelena. There was a total of 134 children from Soko Banja, Vranje, Užice, Požega, and Paraćin who participated, as well as 20 volunteers and 16 teachers.
The 6th Friendship Games took place at the Kopaonik mountain and were yet again opened by our founders. There was a total of 118 children from Žagubica, Petrovac na Mlavi, Kruševac, Prokuplje, Priboj, Svilajnac, and Smederevska Palanka who participated, as well as 20 volunteers and 18 teachers.
The 7th Friendship Games took place at the Kopaonik mountain and were officially opened by our founders Novak and Jelena Djokovic. There was a total of 130 children Sremska Mitrovica, Irig, Smederevo, Kragujevac, Aleksinac, Vlasotince who participated, as well as 28 volunteers and 20 teachers. Every year we come up with some new adventures, so this time we also organized workshops for children to learn how to work with clay, crochet, and make a flute out of wood. After the Friendship Games camp, thanks to the contribution of our partners, we continued with our support of the participating schools by equipping them with new furniture and necessary learning materials.
No child in Serbia should be deprived of the wonders of childhood.
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Mutual support, sharing and bonding of participants at the Friendship Games inspired us all.READ OUR FIELD STORIES