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Novak Djokovic appointed as a UNICEF Serbia Ambassador

by , Posted on 15th Aug 2012

The best Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic was appointed UNICEF Serbia Ambassador.

“I am honoured to be able to help increase awareness for the importance of early childhood education. I look forward to working with UNICEF to help make a difference in the lives of young children throughout Serbia, particularly those who have fewer opportunities to learn and develop to their full potential”, said Novak at the ceremony in New York.

The partnership will allow Novak to continue his push to defend children’s rights and provide access to early childhood education.

In Serbia, less than half of all children under five years of age attend pre-school programmes, dropping to less than one in ten for those from vulnerable groups.

That is why UNICEF has set, in agreement with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the education of young children as one of the key programme priorities for the period 2011-2015. It is planned to expand the existing services and develop specialised programmes for early childhood education especially of vulnerable and marginalised children, and Novak’s work as a National Ambassador will focus on their implementation.

The importance of investing in learning opportunities for young children is well known, with abundant evidence that laying solid foundations in the early years results in better life outcomes for the individual child and society as a whole.

In accepting the appointment, Novak said, “Through my work with UNICEF, I want to help Serbian children realise their dreams. I want to help them understand that they have rights and that those rights should be protected. I want them to believe that anything is possible.”

“Novak Djokovic is a natural fit for UNICEF,” said Rima Salah, Deputy Executive Director. “He cares deeply about the welfare of children, bringing the same passion and enthusiasm for his career on the court to addressing issues affecting children.”

UNICEF Ambassadors are well-known and highly respected personalities who promote children’s rights and mobilise support for the work of UNICEF and its partners. In the 50 years since celebrities began working with UNICEF, they have helped sway government policies on behalf of children, publicised children’s issues around the globe and raised funds for UNICEF-supported programs.

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