The public can nominate personalities with a handicap for the Olga Havel Award

The Committee of Good Will – The Olga Havel Foundation (VDV) will award the thirtieth annual Olga Havel Award this year. The prestigious award goes to a person who, despite his or her health handicap, helps others. Candidates for this year can be nominated by the public via the online form on the website from February 1 to April 1, 2024. The award ceremony will take place on May 27 in Prague.

“The Olga Havlová Award was first announced by Olga Havlová in 1995 to honor people with health disabilities who selflessly help others despite their handicap,” says Monika Granja, director of the Goodwill Committee – Olga Havlová Foundation. “During thirty years, we have met the destinies of exceptional people who have become an inspiration to overcome obstacles for others,” adds M. Granja.

The first Award ceremony took place on May 5, 1995 in the Liechtenstein Palace in Kampa. Mrs. Olga Havlová personally presented the award to Jana Hrdá. After 1990, Mrs. Jana Hrdá, who was completely paralyzed after a spinal injury, together with other wheelchair users founded the Prague Organization of Wheelchair Users and started organizing personal assistance courses for the independent lifestyle movement in the Czech Republic. She won the right to take care of her two children and, with the help of friends, gradually organized her life in her home. She participated in the implementation of the reform of social services in the Czech Republic.

A jury appointed by the foundation’s board of directors will decide who will become this year’s prize winner and receive Olbram Zoubek’s bronze sculpture “Encouragement”. Since 2017, VDV has also been awarding the Public Prize as part of the Olga Havel Prize, the winner of which can be voted for online. Like the winner of the Olga Havlova Prize, the winner of the Public Prize will be presented at a gala event that will take place on May 27 in the newly renovated Art Nouveau Fant building of the Main Railway Station in Prague.

Last year, Filip Pšenčík received an award for his efforts to help build barrier-free housing for people with medical disabilities. As a self-sufficiency assistant at the Wheelchair League in Brno, he advises clients on the selection of compensatory aids and modifications to their housing. During his tenure, a training apartment was completed at the organization’s headquarters, serving not only clients to practice living independently but also for training personal assistants and volunteers. Heřman Volf became the recipient of the Public Prize.

Candidates for this year can be nominated by the public via the online form on the website from February 1 to April 1, 2024.