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Novak and Jelena Djokovic opened the first kindergarten in the village near Šabac

by , Posted on 13th Feb 2019

Novak Djokovic Foundation invested USD$ 314,000 in the adaptation and re-building of the new preschool in Mačvan Prnjavor — which was repurposed from the old Heath Center. 

Today, more than 150 kids from Prnjavor and other villages in the vicinity of Šabac, got a chance to start the preschool education in the first kindergarten opened in this area. The Novak Djokovic Foundation invested USD $314,000  in the reconstruction, renovation and equipping of the old building of the Health Center, which is now an object within the preschool “Our child” from Sabac. The world’s top tennis player and co-founder, Novak Djokovic, and Jelena Djokovic, the global CEO and the co-founder, attended the opening ceremony.

Novak and Jelena had fun playing with the youngest representatives of Prnjavor who with their help have chosen the name “Kolibri” for their new kindergarten.

“Being a child is the most beautiful thing. At this age, we are the bravest, the most open to the world, ready to explore, to discover people and things. Because of this, childhood is such an important part of our lives because it is at this time that our personalities are taking shape. Providing equal opportunities for children from all over our country represents our absolute imperative and something we strive for and never forget. The fact that Jelena and I are parents now as well, has additionally turned us towards the care of the youngest, and that is why we are immensely pleased that the kids from Prnjavor now have the opportunity to make new friendships and acquaintances, to play, learn, and develop their imagination by reading books and listening to the most beautiful fairy tales, laugh together and be happy, “said Novak.

Within the adaptation of the old Health Center, all installations were replaced, so that the children stay in a safe environment, and a space of 700 square meters was equipped with necessary furniture, didactic materials, and toys, while a completely new playground was built in the courtyard of the building.

“We are glad that we were able to open the first kindergarten in the Mačvan Prnjavor so that children from this and surrounding villages will now finally have the space in which they can learn, socialize and receive the right care and support. The Novak Djokovic Foundation continues to invest in the early education of our children, because the first years of life are crucial for their proper development. This is the 43rd kindergarten in Serbia that we have renovated or built, and our goal is to open even more of them in the coming period, because our goal is to chaneg the statistics for the better so that every child in Serbia will have access to preschool education and care, “said Jelena Djokovic, the global CEO of the Foundation.

Villages and towns in which there are no preschool institutions, or where a large number of children is waiting for the enrollment, will have the advantage over others.  

“Among the 4,000 people living in Prnjavor, there are many parents with children aged three to six who have not had a chance to attend kindergarten until now. We realized the importance of investing in this project and, in April last year, we signed the cooperation agreement with the town of Sabac. With our partners, we managed to complete the reconstruction process at the shortest possible time. The result is a modern facility, where preschoolers from these parts will now have the opportunity to learn and realize their full potential, and as an organization that invests heavily in training and education of professional staff, in cooperation with our implementing partner CIP, we have provided accredited programs for as many as 30 educators. To the town of Sabac, as the founder of the PU and our associate on the project, we are extremely grateful for the contribution it has made in the realization, in the form of technical documentation, as well as financing the installation of carpentry on the building. Also, I would like to thank our partners, among them Banca Intesa, Tarkett, Empero Line and Zorka Color,” said Maja Kremic, the national director of the Novak Djokovic Foundation.

Mayor of Sabac, Nebojsa Zelenovic, expressed gratitude to the Novak Djokovic Foundation in an effort to provide the children of his town with the conditions for a happy childhood.

“We are proud of the fact that Sabac has no waiting lists for enrollment in kindergartens, and now we can even boast to have one of the most modern preschool facilities in Serbia. Kindergarten in Prnjavor is a significant contribution to achieving our aspiration to equalize the conditions of growing up and learning in the city and in the countryside “, emphasized Zelenovic.

Director of PU “Naše dete (Our child)” Sandra Micic said that thanks to this project, Sabac will expand the network of kindergartens for another three groups of full-day stay, nursery and one group of “School for Life”. She added that the opening of this facility improves conditions for quality early development and childbearing, and that professional training for employees is important for further progress of the entire institution.

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Novak Djokovic Foundation was founded in 2007 as an organization that invests in pre-school education in Serbia, a country in which every other child has no access to preschool education. The Foundation’s work is based on the belief that pre-school education can change the lives of children and the whole community. This is achieved by creating the highest quality programs and learning environments, where more than 1,575 teachers had the opportunity for improvement. So far, NDF has reconstructed and built 43 kindergartens and helped more than 22,000 children.

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