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news 08 Apr 15

Djokovic Restores Joy to Child Flood Victims

Two kindergartens in Bosnia that were devastated in last year’s floods have re-opened thanks to the generosity of Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Two kindergartens, one called Radost [Joy] in the northern Bosnian town of Samac, and another called Krajiska Radost [Joy of the Krajina], in the western town of Sanski Most, lived up to their names after reopening with financial aid from Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic.

 These two kindergartens, together with the major portions of the two towns and other parts of Bosnia, were swamped by catastrophic floods last spring.

Torrential rain and landslides destroyed or damaged dozens of schools and kindergartens, industries and farms, apartment buildings and houses, causing damage estimated to be worth 2 billion euro.
 
Bosnia has been struggling to find the cash to rebuild or repair the most basic infrastructure and services ever since.
 
In the case of the two joyful kindergartens, assistance came from the world’s No 1 tennis player.

Shocked by the extent of the devastation last year, Djokovic provided money for a number of reconstruction projects in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia.
 
As a part of this package, he donated 100,000 euro for the reconstruction of the two kindergartens, which was implemented with the help of UNICEF, UNDP and other organizations.
 
The kindergarten in Samac officially reopened its doors to some 70 kids on Monday, a press statement from Samac municipality said.
   
The kindergarten in Sanski Most has been operational once more since mid-February but town officials plan to hold an official reopening event over the next few months, Behrija Grozdanic, director of Krajiska Radost told Balkan Insight.  
 
“We were desperate back then and now we are happy,” she said, adding that some 30 of the 70 children have already returned to the kindergarten, and their numbers keep growing.
 
“We got a lot of education equipment and the children are thrilled. This all is thanks to our tennis player, I hope he wins non stop,” Grozdanic said.  
 
“We knew already he was a great tennis player, but he showed that he is a great human being, too,” she concluded.

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