How it all started

(Looking back)

The year is 1996. I am standing in front of the infant care institute in Prague – Krč, and I have no idea what awaits me behind the gates. I wonder – how will I deal with all the emotions that the fate of individual abandoned children instill in me? Will I be able to cope?

I have always enjoyed a lot of love and attention in my life, both thanks to my family and my occupation. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t understand why these children should be deprived of such a fundamental and natural feeling. Why should they have to suffer for the irresponsibility of adults so soon after birth? Why must they have to grow up in institutional care instead of a family? In what ways could these helpless children be best and most effectively supported?

These questions have haunted me since the day I first entered the infant care institution, and I am still looking for answers. From the first moment I saw them, I felt that I had the opportunity to bring about a positive change in the lives of those who fight every day for the most important things in life – love, and their place on earth. All these thoughts, goals and wishes have gone on to become the cornerstone on which the activities of my foundation stand today. Since 1996, we have been working with our team to support those who are essentially dependent on the help of adults. Thanks to years of personal experience and everything I have gone through and seen with my own eyes, I feel deep gratitude for the tailored help for every child.

It would not be possible to fulfill our charitable mission without the generous and kind support of our donors, supporters, partners and volunteers, who have made a significant contribution to improving the lives of individual abandoned children. Therefore, let me take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the effort and concrete contribution that has moved our efforts a little closer to the desired goal – to provide loving family care for every child. We’ve come a long way together. We have another before us. However, I am deeply convinced that our path is the right one. I will be very happy if you continue to accompany us on it.

With sincere thanks,
Tereza Maxová

Curriculum vitae

Tereza Maxová was born on August 31, 1971 in Pardubice. In 1975, she moved with her family to Ústí nad Labem and graduated from elementary school with a sports and athletic focus in 1985.

After graduating from the Budějovická high school in Prague in 1989, she passed the exams and was accepted in the Faculty of Law of Charles University.

With a vision of travel and new experiences, she took part in the casting competition of the French modelling agency Madison at the age of seventeen, still under the communist regime. Her professional modelling career began in 1989 when she left for Paris shortly after the Velvet Revolution.

Tereza has always been and still is an ideal model. “It wasn’t just her stunning looks that made her the face of the 1990s. The photographers and stylists who worked with her for years have always appreciated her professional approach, energy and commitment,” said Juergen Wagner of Next Models.

She has collaborated with most great photographers, from Patrik Demarchelier to Mario Testino and Peter Lindberg.

Her face graced the cover of British Vogue, as well as on the pages of Elle, Marie Claire and Glamor. She walked all the major catwalks – Dior, Chanel, Prada, Gucci, YSL, Ralph Lauren and was the face of advertising campaigns of such brands as Karl Lagerfeld, Donna Karan, Hermés, La Perla, Vichy and L’Oreal.

Even at the peak of her career, she did not lose touch with the real world. A visit to the Prague infant care facility in 1996 turned into a life-long commitment to helping abandoned children. The Tereza Maxová Foundation has the patronage of 24,000 children growing up in institutional care in the Czech Republic and countless children living in socially disadvantaged biological and foster families.

The mother of three children (Tobias Joshua * 2000, Mína * 2009 & Aiden * 2011) and the face of two decades, Tereza Maxová has earned many accolades during her incredible career in fashion industry.

One would expect that after such a long and triumphant career, starting a family and almost twenty years spent in the fashion world, Tereza will slow down her pace, but the opposite is true. She still believes that the best is yet to come.

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