Happy New Year from Novak and Jelena! 12 Reasons to Give and Be Grateful for 2021
Our founders Novak and Jelena Djokovic discuss how far we have come as an organization, thanks to your selfless support over the years. We will also try to remember the many achievements we’ve accomplished in 2021. The entire Novak Djokovic Foundation Team wishes you a Happy New Year!
Before you start reading this text, scroll back up and look at the photo, please. Well, this New Year, we hope you will find someone who will look at you the way Novak looks at Jelena. Our founders take a trip down memory lane, counting their blessings and seeing how far we have come as an organization:
“We started this Foundation with a simple goal: to help.
In order to bring our mission into sharper focus, we started by taking a closer look at what was truly needed and we came away with the unshakable belief that what young children need most – beyond the basic requirements of food, water, and shelter – is education. With proper education, children are capable of anything. We truly believe that, and we know that you do too.
We also know that not everyone can put their lives on hold to build schools or develop programs for children. But when each one of us makes a contribution in whatever way we can – it is astonishing what we can accomplish.
Your effort makes a difference. Your contribution is significant and meaningful. Together, we build actual schools that you can visit, that you can touch and see, where you can hear the voices of children busy at work or play. Classrooms full of promise and potential. Over the course of the last decade as the NDF has grown, we’ve received an education of our own. We have improved in order to help the ones who help children every day – parents, teachers, coaches, and all the adults in their most immediate environment.
We’ve met many incredible, compassionate individuals, worked hard, and gathered a team of truly dedicated people who trust our mission. In truth, we’re more than just a team. We’re a family, and we love all children as if they were our own. We want them all to flourish and thrive.
The last couple of years, however, have been anything but easy. We humbly acknowledged the new reality but never wavered in our determination to persevere. Having been obliged to take a step back, we are resolute in taking two steps forward.
Thank you for being a part of this movement and welcome to our family!
Happy New Year!”
Why, thank you, dear founders! We are well aware that, after this heartfelt message, it probably wouldn’t make much sense to continue writing—but!—we’ll still give it a shot! We have managed to achieve a whole lot of things this year, probably more than we thought we would, thus giving our Foundation a rather solid foundation (pun intended, we didn’t write this for SEO purposes) for an even more exciting 2022. Let’s have a look at everything you’ve helped us achieve over the past 12 months!
- Within our Season of Giving campaign, Wolfango Poggi joined Team Vajska and cycled 1,200 kilometers while fundraising more than EUR 10,000 in the process.
- In cooperation with Avast, we supported the hospital in Zvezdara by donating almost EUR 25,000.
- Successful end to the Season of Giving 2020 in which we passed our goal of EUR 100,000 for the opening of preschools in the villages of Ljubis and Vajska – this amount was matched by Novak and Jelena,
- Donation of Domestos products to 20 hospitals across Serbia worth EUR 33,000,
- Donation of medical equipment to the General hospital in Smederevo worth over EUR 30,000,
- End of the seventh cycle of “Support, not perfection” workshops attended by 380 parents.
- Reconstruction of 12 children’s hygienic rooms at “Dr. Olga Popović-Dedijer” hospital,
- Celebrating Novak’s 311 (now already 353) weeks at the top of the ATP list by making a large silhouette of his signature two-handed backhand.
- First panel of the “Path of a Champion” program – guests Dejan Savic, Miljan Grbovic, and Djordje Djokovic,
- The “Support, not perfection” program recognized by the influential European Journal of Developmental Psychology,
- Picking fruits and vegetables in gardens of preschools within our “ABC of Better Me” program;
- Signing of the contract with the Ministry of Education and the World Bank – Project of the inclusive preschool education for furnishing of a minimum of 120 study rooms by the end of 2022,
- Opening of our 47th preschool in the village of Ljubis,
- Reconstructing a playground in Jelena’s preschool “Dambo” in collaboration with the students of the Faculty of applied arts,
- Lectures for teachers and workshops with children within the “ABC of Better Me” program;
- Webinar “How we speak and what we achieve – ways of communicating with children” in collaboration with Generali Insurance Serbia and The Human Safety Net attended by 395 parents,
- Diplomatic tennis tournament and the donation of the Embassy of Cyprus,
- The beginning of the Inclusive preschool education project and the adaptation and furnishing of premises in four Belgrade municipalities,
- Joining the Global Challenge organized by Generali and THSN and collecting funds for the opening of three sensory rooms in Serbia,
- Donation of the State of Qatar to the “ABC of Better Me” program,
- Donation of 250 square meters of artificial grass to the “Djurdjevak” preschool,
- Inclusive preschool education – 13 study rooms opened in Svilajnac, Stari grad, and Vracar,
- Picking autumn fruits and vegetables in gardens of preschools within our “ABC of Better Me” program;
- “Path of a champion” – beginning of the first cycle of workshops,
- Donation of 42 tablet devices to preschools and other children’s institutions in collaboration with Generali Insurance and THSN,
- Attending an exhibition dedicated to Nikola Tesla organized by AC Plana in Trieste, Italy,
- Opening of the first Parent Center in Kovacica with Generali and THSN,
- Opening of the 48th preschool in Stopanja, Trstenik,
- Inclusive preschool education – 4 study rooms opened in Doljevac,
- Opening of the first sensory room in Zajecar with Generali Insurance and THSN,
- “Path of a Champion” – Donation of tennis balls to national tennis associations of the countries in the region: Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
- Openning of Parent centers in Pancevo, Bac, Sabac, Uzice, Jagodina;
- “Support, not perfection” – Beginning of the new, eighth cycle of workshops,
- Inclusive preschool education – 14 study rooms opened in Obrenovac, Vladicin Han, and Nova Varos,
- “Path of a champion” and projection of the “King Richard” movie,
- Our founder Novak Djokovic presented with Etico Ethical Award for exceptional philanthropic work,
- Giving Tuesday and the beginning of the new Season of Giving campaign for a new preschool for 100 children in Nis,
- Opening of a sensory room in Sjenica,
- Opening of Parent center in Sremska Mitrovica;
- International Volunteers’ Day and charity manifestation of choosing the most beautifully decorated Christmas tree at Hyatt Regency Belgrade,
- Caravan of Happiness and 300 presents for children in 12 Serbian cities,
- Opening of our 49th preschool in Topola,
- “Path of a champion” – panel discussion with Novak Djokovic, Zeljko Obradovic and Sonja Vasic supported Motorola and Lacoste Foundation,
- Living legend Novak Djokovic receives his own postage stamp,
- Opening of a sensory room in Kovacica,
- New Year bazaar organized by Generali Insurance Serbia employees,
- Opening of Parent centers in Vladimirci and Novi Sad,
- Inclusive preschool education – 22 study rooms opened in Raca and Cukarica and a landmark 1000th place in preschool within this cooperation.
We hope these past 12 months will serve as an inspiration to give and be grateful for 2021. Before we sign out, we’d like to thank you for supporting yet another Season of Giving. Thanks to your help, we have already reached and surpassed our 70,000 fundraising goal! Remember, like every year, Novak and Jelena will be matching all your generous donations. Of all the good things that happened to us in 2021, we are most grateful for having you by our side.