Novak Djokovic’s Girlfriend Jelena Ristic Plays Key Role In His Foundation

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Tiger Woods has one which supports a USPGA Tour Event, Didier Drogba has one too and Novak Djokovic is hosting a dinner on 10 September after the US Tennis Open for his own Charitable Foundation. It’s a trend that’s profoundly more American in origin, and as one might expect therefore, a trend that’s spreading.

Why do I say that Charitable Foundations are more of a feature of American life, particularly after the outcry’s during the recent recession that the UK government was giving too much to overseas charities? The often quoted stat is the one that compares per person contributions to charities in the two countries, and yes all sources say that that the Americans are greater per person contributors in this area.

Americans received much praise for their charitable contributions in an interview this week with Jelena Ristic, Novak’s long term girlfriend, on Huff Post news. A major part of Novak’s Foundation, Executive Director Jelena gave an interview regarding his Foundation’s aims.  Recognized by the UN, for whom Novak is their country ambassador, The Novak Djokovic Foundation attempts to bridge the gap between educational standards in Serbia and those in more established nations. A particular area of focus is pre-school where Jelena says children in Serbia have limited access to education. It’s important to “raise awareness of the importance of pre-school programs…to give them a fair start in life” where children do not have Kindergardens according to Jelena. The $3m raised so far will surely go a good deal of the way to helping the Foundation achieve it’s goals. Much of the money has been raised in the United States and Jelena hopes too to learn from the Americans lessons regarding their approach to education. These it’s hoped can be rolled out in Serbia to improve standards.

Top seed Djokovic lines up today in his US Open semi-final, with Nadal the number two seed in the following semi-final match-up. Their opponents lack a certain amount of experience on paper to get to the final. Wawrinka is in his first Grand Slam semi-final and Gasquet his second, six years after his first at Wimbledon. The top two seeds have won 18 Grand Slams between them.

If charity and off-court behavioural economics are more your thing, further understanding of the differences between American and British attitudes towards charitable giving can be found by following the research currently under-way at the University of Birmingham. Started in 2012 this three year project aims to find cause for such discrepancies in people’s values.

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