Czech beauty queen and Miss World 2006 Tatana Kucharova visited children with special needs at the Abu Dhabi Future Centre, spreading her smile, femininity and warmth among a crowd of cheerful and excited youngsters.
After Kucharova visited the classrooms, signed autographs, exchanged hugs and took pictures with the children, tabloid! got a chance to get familiar with the 18-year-old, beauty queen in an exclusive interview.
What is the purpose of your visit to the Future Centre for children with special needs?
In coordination with the Czech Embassy, we are looking for ways to support children with special needs. Part of my job last year was to visit schools and raise money to provide children with books and improve facilities around them.
Even though raising funds helps improve the lives of children, I realised that a more rewarding feeling is getting involved. A happy face of a child is worth a million dollars for me and I wouldn't exchange that for anything. This is my second visit to Abu Dhabi, and I will keep on visiting until I figure out how we can be of help to these children.
What are your future plans?
After I graduate I plan to open my own international charity in Prague, Czech Republic. I want to help as many people across the globe as possible, especially children in need and the elderly.
Who is your idol in life?
My family. They have been so supportive to me throughout my journey. I have two sisters who I take care of because I am the eldest. I've had a very peaceful childhood, and I am grateful for that because not a lot of people have that privilege.
What was your ultimate achievement while being Miss World?
Making a child happy. During the past year I have travelled more than 160 times and mostly visited hospitals and children with special needs. The most amazing feeling is to have a child who is not feeling well or is being hospitalised smile or wave at you regardless of his health.
How did it feel to hand over the crown to Miss China?
I will always be ranked number 56 in the Miss World contest and that for me is an honour in itself. I already feel blessed to have experienced being Miss World.
How has life changed for you since last year?
Visiting so many ill children throughout the past year has changed my way of thinking. I now appreciate my family more and try to have good relations with the people around me. I am starting to feel what is important and what is not. I also realised that you do not have to be rich to help others. Like I said, a warm hug or a sweet smile does wonders.
What did you learn from holding the Miss World 2006 title?
The Miss World title was the greatest schooling I ever had. I was trying to fulfil the roles expected of me as best as I could to represent my country.
Being crowned Miss World is not just about having a beautiful face. You must be presentable, graceful and socially brave. I have been doing modelling since I was 14 years old and that helped develop my social skills, make me stronger and helped me grow up faster.
How different is your life now?
Now I can realise my plans and go for them. I am currently a freshman in the University of International Relations and Diplomacy in Prague, studying international relations. I intend to continue my studies. At the same time I am modelling. I do it as a hobby, not a job. Plus, I believe that through fashion shows I can meet refined, helpful people, who can help me achieve my goals in raising funds for children.
What is your personal dream?
To some day see every woman in the world happy, successful and have a healthy family.
Is it just a career for you or do you plan to get married one day? How can you tell who will love you for your inner soul and not for your beauty?
I don't mind getting married, and I truly believe in destiny. When you are a sensitive person you can tell who admires you for your inner self and not because of your beauty, title or popularity.
How do you feel now that you are in the UAE and what is your future plan in this region?
I am a bit tired since I arrived today; my next visit is to Dubai. I am staying another four days. It would be an honour for me to come back here and continue working with the Future Centre and with other children around the UAE.
Confident to win?
Former Miss World Tatana Kucharova said about winning the title in 2006: “All I know is that I wanted to win and I had confidence that I could be the selected queen. The terrifying moment is when you are standing on stage with the two runners-up and your names are about to be called out in order. All the girls were beautiful and smart in the contest, and I believe I was chosen because I was destined to. What must happen will happen!''