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Little Amal joins 100 school kids in making stand for planet

More than 100 schoolchildren in Scotland joined renowned puppet Little Amal as they descended on COP26 in Glasgow to call for a more sustainable future for the planet.

Little Amal, whose name means ‘hope’ in Arabic, is the artistic representation of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee. The 3.5m puppet is famous for recently completing an 8,000km trek from Syria to the UK to highlight the plight of young refugees.

The puppet joined forces with pupils from Glasgow and the surrounding area to make the journey to the Scottish Event Campus, where global leaders were meeting to discuss how to tackle the climate and ecological crisis.

One child commented:

I felt more strongly about climate change today than I usually do. Before the protest and  project, I didn’t see climate change properly but now I do.

The walk was coordinated by three Scottish theatre companies – the National Theatre of Scotland, the Citizens Theatre and the Perth Theatre – and focused on teaching about climate change through playful drama and visual arts workshops. Topics covered in the workshops included environmental justice, migrant justice and youth activism.

In what was a lively affair, Little Amal and the children were accompanied by drummers from the Ayawara West African Percussion and Dance Ensemble, led by dancer and musician Erick Valentin Mauricia.

Siobheann McCloskey Carmichael, Acting Principal Teacher at St Teresa’s Primary School, said:

The Little Amal project was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our learners. The journey  they have been on with Amal will last forever. The children have learned so much about  refugees and the climate crisis through their workshops with National Theatre Scotland. It  has been a privilege to share this experience with our young people and watch them  transform into empowered young activists seeking justice for others and our world.

Photo credit Colin Hattersley