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July 5, 2005

Deaf Girls' Trip Uncertain

From: - Africa - Jul 5, 2005

The Herald (Harare)
July 5, 2005

Thelma Chikwanha

TWO deaf and dumb girls who were invited to take part in this year's Miss World Deaf Beauty Pageant to be held in Czech Republic next week may not make the trip if they fail to raise $30 million in airfares.

The two, Audrey Chikara of Harare and Patricia Manyeruke of Mutare, who are both 22, were invited through The Zimbabwe National Association of the Deaf.

Air Zimbabwe has offered the girls and their two companions a 50 percent discount for the passage from Harare to London where they will connect to the Czech Republic.

"The national airliner did all it could for us but as you are aware, Air Zimbabwe does not operate in the Czech Republic and we will actually need more funds to enable us to connect from London to Switzerland," said Mr Peaceway Zvomunyika, the girls' interpreter.

The additional funds needed for the connecting flight amount to US$362 each for their fare from London to Czech Republic.

"We have tried in vain to raise the money and to contact the Miss Zimbabwe Trust seeking assistance but all our efforts have been fruitless," said an anxious Audrey, who is a dance instructor with Chipawo.

An enthusiastic Patricia said she hoped to bring back the title to Zimbabwe if given the opportu- nity.

"If I win, it will be proof to all the deaf and dumb beautiful girls in the country that all things are possible," she said.

The Miss World Deaf Competition that was established in 2002 has, for the past three years, been held every July in the Czech Republic.

This will be the first time for Zimbabwe to take part in the prestigious beauty pageant.

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