Children From the Village of Ljukovo Receive Their Own School of Life
We have opened today our 13th School of Life in the village of Ljukovo near Indjija, thereby securing around 60 new enrolment places for children in this area between the ages of three and six. We have invested more than EUR 86.000 in the reconstruction and refurbishment of the pre-school building. The School of Life has been opened in partnership with the municipality of Indjija.
Opening the School of Life includes the adaptation of a part of the elementary school that used to be home to a teacher from Ljukovo, followed by its refurbishment with all the necessary furniture, didactic materials, and supplies, as well as the construction of a playground which would allow children to enjoy their day-to-day stay.
Jelena Djokovic, Global Director of the Novak Djokovic Foundation, has officially opened the new School of Life today and surprised the little ones in the kindergarten with new toys.
“Opening of the thirteenth School of Life carries certain symbolism for us. This year, we are marking thirteen years of work and we are proudly summarising everything that our Foundation has done to ensure a nicer childhood for the children, as well as better conditions for them to learn and be happy. I am convinced that we have also ensured a better future for a large number of them. Out of 96 children who live in Ljukovo, only a quarter has access to preschool education. This is why we are opening a new School of Life here. We would also like to thank representatives of the municipality and the preschool institution for providing maximum support and allowing us to build a new nest and make childhood nicer for a large number of children,” stated Jelena Djokovic, adding that by giving children an opportunity to go to kindergarten in the place they live, young parents are also incentivized not to leave rural areas.
“I am really happy that today we have an opportunity to give our children the premises that meet the most modern and strictest requirements for preschool education. We hereby demonstrate our responsibility to our future, to the children who will one day lead this city and this country. And this is why we are here today, and this is why it is our job to do our best to provide them with what they deserve, and they deserve only the best. I would like to thank the Novak Djokovic Foundation which recognized the importance of this facility in Ljukovo and which we have achieved excellent cooperation with. As Novak is the best tennis player in the world, it makes Inđija the best municipality in Serbia, so our cooperation is a completely logical process and I hope that together we will accomplish a large number of projects, primarily in the interest of our children,” said Vladimir Gak, Mayor of Indjija.
Managing Director at Boško Buha Preschool Institution, Jelena Kresoja, thanked the Novak Djokovic Foundation for the opportunity to enable children previously not included in institutional education to grow and develop in an inspiring environment and learn from their peers.
“We were fortunate that the Foundation recognized the needs of this place which has been having increasingly more children with each passing year, redecorated and refurbished the space and made it accessible to every child in the village. This project includes 20 children aged between 3 and 5.5, as well as another 25 children who are included in the preparatory pre-school program. We are incredibly grateful to the Foundation for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this project, because we think that children in smaller areas, such as ours, also deserve to grow up in the same conditions as their peers in Inđija and other areas of our municipality,” added Jelena Kresoja.
A portion of the donation was invested into monitoring and professional development and training for the teachers and associates of Boško Buha Preschool Institution carried out by CIP – Center for Interactive Pedagogy. This way, all future generations from this area will receive the best quality pre-school program from the Foundation, in addition to a stimulating environment for learning.
“Considering that the first five years are crucial for development, and that missed opportunities cannot be compensated, CIP – Centre for Interactive Pedagogy, through the project “Schools of Life – Together for Childhood”, supports the efforts of the Foundation to make quality programs available to the greatest possible number of children in early childhood. Expert support from CIP has been aimed at creating policies for children and families on the local level, improving educational practices of preschool institutions, and enhancing teachers’ competencies. Establishing quality four-hour programs opens the possibility for children aged 3 to 5.5 from the village of Ljukovo to socialize, play, grow and learn together with their peers,” said Olga Lakićević project coordinator at CIP – Center for Interactive Pedagogy.
Reconstruction and furbishing of the institution in Ljukovo village were made possible thanks to the support of famous designer Roksanda Ilincic, Rotary Club International Amsterdam and Henkel Serbia’s brand Ceresit, as well as the funds raised during the 2018 Season of Giving campaign, as well as the contribution of Indjija municipality.
Since 2013, Novak Djokovic Foundation has been implementing the project Schools of Life – Together for Childhood, and in addition to the school in Ljukovo, schools have also been opened in Ljig, Raška, Knić, Kraljevo, Merošina, Vladičin Han, Šid, Lučani, Pećinci, Vladimirci, Odžaci and Mačvanski Prnjavor.