Editor: We shouldn’t need puppet to remind us that children suffer

Welcome to Sheffield, Little Amal! What a fantastic welcome our city gave to a puppet who is spreading a message that is all too easy to forget.
Little Amal meets the the public at Victoria Quays.Little Amal meets the the public at Victoria Quays.
Little Amal meets the the public at Victoria Quays.

Victoria Quays was lined with children excited to see the creation arrive onboard a boat and looking far more impressive than any photo can convey.

They were thrilled to witness a work of art which carries the most serious message and were accompanied by parents and grandparents who were just as enthralled.

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The magical movements of the giant travelling puppet were created by the Handspring Puppet Company, who have previously made the puppet horses which feature in the stage play War Horse.

It was hard to take your eyes off such a creation. Little Amal is impossible to ignore. However, her message is one that is all too easy to turn our back on and, sadly, most of us do that every day of our lives. How often do we stop to think about what the world’s displaced and poorest children are going through? How many of us actually take action to do something for them, to make a difference?

What a brilliant team effort to bring Amal to Sheffield on her journey and what a great reflection of our communities that so many people ventured out to show their support.

Long may Little Amal’s message stay in our hearts as the world battles to care for those who need it the most.

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As Councillor Paul Wood said: “We are a city that has welcomed refugees here for a long time. Little Amal’s story will stay with us long after she has left us on her journey to Manchester.

“When we think of children like Amal we put ourselves in their shoes and think about what must it be like to have no other option than to leave your home and travel a very long way to find a new one. It must have been frightening and we’re glad that Sheffield is a city that will provide children with the help they need to be safe.”

Little Amal’s remarkable journey started at Gaziantep near the Turkey-Syria border and she moves on to Manchester tomorrow, shining a light on the stories of the millions of young refugees who are dream of a better life.

We have a lot to learn from the world’s most vulnerable children and a lot to be thankful for that we were born in a city like Sheffield.