Shining a light on the lives of refugees: Walk with Amal at TPL branches

Join in the walk with Amal

As part of Luminato Festival Toronto’s 2023 lineup, come check out Amal as she walks through different Toronto neighbourhoods to shine a light on the lives of refugee children.

Little Amal is the 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child at the heart of the walk. She has become a global symbol of human rights, especially those of refugees. 

Since July 2021, Little Amal has travelled more than 9,000 km in thirteen countries and been welcomed by more than a million people on the street, including hundreds of artists and civil society and faith leaders, as well as by tens of millions online. Her journeys are festivals of art and hope that draw attention to the huge numbers of children fleeing war, violence and persecution – each with their own story. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us.”

Amal walking with a group of people.

'Walk with Amal Toronto’ is produced by The Walk Productions and Luminato Festival Toronto in association with Handspring Puppet Company. Photo credit: Lizzie Coombes

Walk with Amal: Scarborough 
Thursday, June 8 at 12 pm | Scarborough Civic Centre Branch
Starts and Ends: Scarborough Civic Centre, Albert Campbell Square 150 Borough Drive, Scarborough 

Walk with Amal: Thorncliffe Park
Friday, June 9 at 3 pm | Thorncliffe Branch
Starts: Thorncliffe Branch, 48 Thorncliffe Park Drive, East York
Ends: The Rose Garden, opposite 45 Overlea Boulevard #180, Toronto

Explore more opportunities to Walk with Amal Toronto other neighbourhoods, including Regent Park, Union Station, Etobicoke and the Waterfront communities. And don't miss other Luminato Festival Toronto events happening from June 7-18, 2023.

Free family workshops

Amal surrounded by people holding up yellow butterfly signs.
Amal surrounded by people holding up yellow butterfly artwork. Photo credit: The Walk Productions

In addition to being part of Amal's Toronto walks, you can also take part in a workshop and participate with the whole family.

Spoken Word Workshop 
Thursday, June 1 from 4-6 pm | Scarborough Civic Centre Branch
Get creative and have fun! Write and record a poem that will be played during Little Amal's visit to Albert Campbell Square on Thursday, June 8 at 12 pm. Hear your words in front of hundreds – or maybe thousands – of Torontonians celebrating Amal. Registration is not required.

Butterfly-making Workshop
Thursday, June 1 from 3:30-5:30 p.m | Thorncliffe Branch
Butterflies have become an unofficial symbol for Amal and refugee children around the world. Take part in Amal's walk through Thorncliffe by making your own butterfly that you can wave high in the air when she walks through that area on Friday, June 9 at 3 pm. All supplies are included, and registration is not required. 

Library resources 

Want to read and learn more? Check out our Refugee Experiences: Books for Kids reading list for children. Here are a few highlights: 

What is a Refugee? by Elise Gravel

What is a Refugee? by Elise Gravel

Using simple text and cartoon art, this picture book explores the reasons why people are forced to leave their homes and how they find safety.

Finding Home by Jen Sookfang Lee

Finding Home: The Journey of Immigrants and Refugees by Jen Sookfong Lee

Follow the journey of different immigrants and refugees as they search for a place to call home. This book explores both current issues and the history of human migration.

When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

Omar and his little brother Hassan live in a refugee camp in Kenya. When Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future.

Toronto Public Library also provides Library Services for NewcomersResources for Teachers & Parents and Staff Picks for Kids