Cathedrals welcome refugee puppet, Little Amal

20th October 2021

Little Amal arrives in the UK.

Canterbury and St Paul’s Cathedrals are getting ready to welcome Little Amal, a giant puppet representing a nine year old Syrian refugee girl which has just arrived in England after setting off from Turkey in July to travel to the UK to highlight the plight of refugee children everywhere.

St Paul’s and Canterbury Cathedrals welcome refugee puppet, Little Amal

The 3.5m tall puppet, designed and built by the Handspring Puppet Company, creators of War Horse, is travelling the 8,000 kms to Manchester from the Syrian border in search of her mother, shining a light on the stories of the millions of displaced refugee children with the message:  “Don’t forget about us”.

Produced by Good Chance Theatre, The Walk is a four month long travelling festival of art and hope that aims to focus attention on the urgent needs of young refugees.

Video Credit – Reuters

It began near the Turkey/Syria border on 27 July, travelling through Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France, and will arrive in Folkestone on 19 October.

Hundreds of local schoolchildren and students are expected to join Little Amal to process from Canterbury Cathedral on October 21 to the University of Kent.

She visits London from 22-25 October when she will wake up on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral on 23 October and be welcomed to the city by faith leaders.

While in the UK, she will visit Folkestone, Dover, Canterbury, Oxford, Coventry, Birmingham, Sheffield and Barnsley. The Walk culminates in Manchester on 3 November with a finale event produced by Manchester International Festival.

It takes three puppeteers to operate Little Amal – a stilt walker who also animates her face and a puppeteer on each of her arms.  The team of ten puppeteers includes two from refugee backgrounds who have themselves travelled the route. The puppet is crafted from moulded cane and carbon fibre.

Cathedrals welcome refugee puppet, Little Amal

Credit AP

On 17th September, The Walk launched ’The Amal Fund’ in association with Choose Love and Good Chance to raise money and support children like Amal in rebuilding their lives.

Canterbury 21 Oct – more here >

St Paul’s 23 Oct – more here >