Svoboda | Graniru | BBC Russia | Golosameriki | Facebook

Giant puppet of Syrian child refugee visits Cheltenham

  • Published
Media caption,

A giant puppet of a Syrian child is raising awareness about the plight of child refugees.

A giant puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian child is visiting the West country to raise awareness about the plight of child refugees.

Little Amal stands at 3.5m (11.5ft) and has engaged on a UK-wide tour to coincide with World Refugee Week.

She became a symbol for human rights after she travelled from the Turkish-Syrian border to Manchester last July.

On Thursday she was paraded through Cheltenham's streets. She will be in Bristol later.

During her visit to the Gloucestershire town, Little Amal laid flowers at the town's war memorial and greeted pupils at Pittville School.

Hundreds of people welcomed her, with some wearing "Refugees Welcome" t-shirts at the event which also featured live music.

'Poignant moment'

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Sharing pictures of Little Amal on Twitter, Cheltenham Lib Dem Cllr Martin Horwood wrote: "Crowds welcome Amal at every stop in Cheltenham... with drumming, dance, poetry & song.

"And a poignant moment at our War Memorial.

"As a Town of Sanctuary we must keep welcoming refugees and make sure those already here from Syria and elsewhere feel welcome."

Image caption,
Hundreds of people gathered to welcome the 3.5m (11.5ft) puppet

Speaking before the project's launch, its artistic director Amir Nazir said it stemmed "from the idea that refugees are thought of as a problem, when actually they're not, they're potential".

He added: "By walking with Amal through cities and through communities, creating a big art spectacle and creating big moments where the community can gather and think of itself and how it receives others, proves the case that refugees shouldn't be regarded as a burden.

"The awareness to the plight of refugees is always crucial."

The tour began in Manchester and will visit numerous locations before finishing on the beach in Folkestone in Kent - where Amal first arrived as a refugee a year ago.

Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: [email protected]