By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter
A giant puppet of a Syrian child refugee has landed in Poland, bringing aid relief packages for Ukrainian refugee children and families.
Little Amal, designed to highlight the plight of child refugees, became an international symbol of human rights after she journeyed from the Turkish-Syrian border to Manchester last July.
The 3.5m puppet – of a nine-year-old girl – was invited to Poland by the mayors of Lubin and Krakow to share the message: “Don’t forget about us.”
She will visit three towns in Poland, bringing with her aid relief packages gathered in the UK, with a focus on aid needed for young children.
Amal will walk with children and families in Lubin, meet newly arrived children and families in Krakow, and visit an aid centre in Przemysl.
Wojciech Bakun, the mayor of Przemysl, said: “We are very happy that Little Amal will visit Przemysl, and her visit in the border town next to the country at war will be a symbol of calling for peace, tranquillity and humanity.”
Aleksander Sola, vice president of the Folkowisko Foundation, said: “We hope that Amal will draw the world’s attention to the refugee crisis that Europe has not seen since the end of World War Two.
“Amal symbolises the millions of refugees who have been forced to leave their homes.
“Our Folkowisko Foundation has been involved in helping Ukraine since the beginning of the war; our roots are spreading culture, therefore the artistic expression that Amal carries with it is so important to us.”
Josie Naughton, from Choose Love, said: “Solidarity and inspiration are as vital as humanitarian aid in these moments.
“Amal embodies both in abundance and represents hope for the future, particularly for the millions of displaced children.
“We’re so glad to be supporting her on her journey as she stands with the people of Ukraine and everyone affected by this invasion.”