Djokovic Plans To Have His Foundation Give Aid To Refugees Traveling Through Serbia

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Novak Djokovic Tennis News

Novak Djokovic is counting on the work of his personal charity foundation to hopefully give more useful aid to Syrian refugee families who have been transiting his native Serbia as they flee the war zone of their Middle East homeland. The No. 1 spoke of his deep feelings on the issue after starting the World Tour Finals with a 6-1, 6-1 group defeat of Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

“What’s happening in the Middle East has been some terrible circumstances,” said perhaps the best-known sportsman in the Balkans. “I heard that of the 12 million people who live in Syria, one-third have left the country. Many of them have passed through Serbia to get to their final destination in one of the western countries of the European Union, mostly Germany, Austria.

“Serbia is basically on their trajectory,” added the UNICEF ambassador. “I had a visit in one of the sites in Belgrade where hotels give space for families to spend few hours, refresh, eat something, drink. Babies and kids can get to have a play room before they continue their migration.

“It was really touching, really hard for me to experience. My own foundation that focuses on education obviously. I’ve seen a lot because Serbia in the last 20 years has been through a lot of troubles, economic difficulties and war, and so forth.”

Djokovic said one incident particularly touched him: “Playing with a child. 30 seconds later the mother comes, she takes him away from me, she says, ‘We have to go, we have to leave now, we have to walk for I don’t know how many miles. It’s terrible, honestly, what’s happening.

“I think it’s an obligation of all the countries to give them this right (to seek a safe life) from the International Constitution of Human Rights. It’s very well written that you’re supposed to offer them at least a shelter.

“I’m very proud as a Serbian seeing what my people have done for these migrants, people that have suffered so much. They offer them that shelter, home, food and drink. That’s the most basic things in life.

“From my perspective, I’m only an athlete, obviously I’m following this as a human being, at the end of the day we all have to be humans and feel for one another. We have to put that in front of all the laws and borders and different political stuff.”

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.