Puppet makes European trek for child refugees

"Little Amal" -- which mean 'hope' in Arabic -- started her journey on July 27 in Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border. After her stop in Geneva, she will continue toward her last stop in the northern English city of Manchester.

It was a sobering moment for nine-year-old Alicia Minardi, who was visiting the protest site outside the U.N. European headquarters with her school class. "I'm happy and sad. Happy because for me and my classmates, everything is great, but I'm sad because there are a lot of children for whom it's very hard to live like this," she said.

The puppet depicts a nine-year-old refugee girl in search of safety and her mother, who never returned from her attempt to find food.

The Handspring Puppet Company created her as part of an effort to raise awareness about the plight of unaccompanied refugee children.

Four puppeteers bring Amal to life, including one inside her frame walking on stilts who also operates a complex system of strings that control the puppet's facial expressions. There are also puppeteers operating each arm, and one supporting her back.

Amal also met Geneva residents on the lake side, where women from a refugees association were waiting for her with cakes and pies.

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