A giant puppet of a nine-year-old refugee girl, named Little Amal is set to travel nearly 5,000 miles from the Syrian-Turkish border through Europe via Greece, Italy, France and Belgium. Scheduled to arrive in the UK for the Manchester International Festival in July 2021, her journey will end with a large-scale welcome, raising awareness of the plight of refugee children in today’s society.

The puppet, a collaboration between the creators of War Horse and the Good Chance team behind The Jungle, aims to highlight the traumatic experiences of the 26 million refugees seeking safety at the end of 2019.  Millions of children follow the same route taken by the puppet, in search of  parents, safer conditions, employment, and better education.

On her journey to find her mother, Little Amal with pass the infamous Greek refugee camp, Moria, originally intended to hold 3,000 people but currently containing 19,000, barren of electricity, water and shelter and according to Ali, 39, a resident at the camp, “the conditions are indescribable.”

COVID-19 is exacerbating conditions in camps, as social distancing is impossible in such a crowded environment, where healthcare, education, water, and sanitation are virtually non- existent.

The route that Amal is taking is perilous. Lives have been lost including 110 migrants in the  Mediterranean over just three days during mid-November. However, the director of the project, Stephen Daldry, still believes that, “Little Amal’s story highlights the challenges that refugee children face. But she is also a figure of great hope.”