Reverent meeting Candle for Olga Havlová

On the last Saturday of January, 28 years will pass since the departure of the founder of the Goodwill Committee — the Olga Havlova Foundation (VDV). A memorial meeting at the Havel family tomb in the Vinohradský cemetery with a symbolic lighting of a candle for Mrs. Olga will take place on Friday, January 26, from 2 p.m. Olga Havlova’s legacy will be remembered by the chairman of the board of directors of the foundation Vojtěch Sedláček and its director Monika Granja, the sermon will be delivered by parish priest Miroslav Erdinger. The commemorative event will be musically accompanied by the Besharmonie student choir.

“With a candle for Olga Havlová, we will continue to the year 2023, during which we organized many extraordinary events and projects under the banner of the campaign “Olga is here with us” on the occasion of Olga’s 90th birthday, which she did not live to see,” said VDV director Monika Granja. “For example, we continued with the planting of Olga Havel’s Trees, and we planted the symbolic ninetieth tree in Jelení kopá with the presidential couple Petr and Eva Pavlov. Over 100 commemorative and benefit events took place across the country,” adds the director.

Many partners and important personalities were involved in the commemorative year. Aneta Langerová in collaboration with Jakub Zitek, at the request of the foundation, composed a Song for Olga in honor of Olga Havel, which became the imaginary anthem of the year. Based on the photographs of Bohdan Holomíček and Ondřej Němec, directed by Martin Dušek, a cartoon video spot “Olga is here with us” was created, which was shown by Czech TV and selected cinemas throughout the Czech Republic. It was animated by Martin Máj, the illustrations were created by Adéla Marie Jirků. Her author’s drawing, a portrait of Olga Havlová and an illustration of trees were also the basis for a printed sheet of stamps with additional printing, which was published by the Czech Post in cooperation with the foundation. The year-long collection with the symbolic name Gift for Olga raised more than 860,000 crowns to help those in need.

The “Olga is here with us” campaign was a continuation of the foundation’s activities in the spirit of Olga Havel’s legacy. Even in 2023, the organization focused mainly on helping people with health and social disadvantages. From programs to support the elderly, the dying, and people at risk of social exclusion, the foundation supported 173 organizations with the amount of 7.9 million crowns. It contributed to the purchase of wheelchairs, hearing aids, and other compensatory aids and to movement therapies for 330 people with a medical disadvantage. Throughout the year, she supported 112 disadvantaged students with scholarships and involved 163 high school students in the “Give a Heart” call to help the needy. VDV, in cooperation with the OSF Foundation and the Scout Institute, continued to administer the Active Citizens Fund program, the aim of which is to strengthen civil society in the Czech Republic.