Olga Havel * 11. 7. 1933 † 27. 1. 1996
Olga Havel, born Šplíchalová, was brought up in a numerous family in the Prague's quarter Žižkov and certainly did not have the easiest childhood of all. As a child, she often visited Milíč House (Milíčův dům), founded by Přemysl Pitter and Olga Fierz. After completing high school she worked as an accountant, a storekeeper, and as a salesgirl.
She was introduced to Václav Havel in 1953 and they got married eleven years after. Soon after she was employed as a presenter at the Theater Na zábradlí, where Václav also worked. They both left the theater in 1968. When Václav Havel was in prison, Olga helped and continued to work on his samizdat edition of Expedice, for which she was later accused of betraying the republic. A book "Letters to Olga" came out of a collection of letters written to Olga by Václav during his stay in prison. She also took part in the creation of an original video documentary, which portrayed all activities of dissidents in Czechoslovakia.
In 1990, together with friends from the 'Committee for the protection of unrightfully prosecuted persons' Olga founded the Committee of Good Will. Two years later, she founded the Olga Havel Foundation and members of the Committee of Good Will also became members of its Board of Directors, and correspondingly Olga Havel became the President of this Board. Helping people with physical and mental disabilities, supporting those who are abandoned and discriminated from the integration into the society became the main aims of the Committee of Good Will - Olga Havel Foundation.
The work of the Committee of Good Will - Olga Havel Foundation soon became well known abroad. Sister organisations overseas and all over Europe were founded to support the aims of the foundation.
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the foundation, Olga decided to introduce an annual presentation of awards - the Olga Havel Award - which is given to handicapped individuals, who have greatly contributed to the improvement of living conditions of other people with disabilities. Similarly like other activities, even this award should help to recognize the true values in life of people with a disability, to understand their special needs and to support their integration into the society.
In 1991, Olga was awarded a prestigious prize "Woman of 1991" by the Norwegian foundation Stiftelsen Arets Budeie. In 1995, she was presented a medal of Přemysl Pitter and became the "Woman of 1995" in the Czech Republic.
Olga Havel continuously dedicated her life to improve the conditions for the creation of a civil society and this notion was taken over by the foundation she had set up.