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Guidelines | April 1, 2015

Guidance on Training Animators to Use the Films "Out of the Shadows" and "Red Top, Blue Top"

This publication is intended to provide guidance to individuals and organizations wishing to train animators on the use of the films Out of the Shadows and Red Top, Blue Top, which were created in partnership between No Strings International and Catholic Relief Services. The films aim to support emotional and social resilience of children affected by conflict in the Middle East. Since the creation of the films in 2013, a cohort of implementers have trained animators in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan on their use. The Guidance on Training is an attempt to synthesize and systematize the way trainings are conducted throughout the region. It focuses on puppets (manipulating puppets, showing children how to make puppets), working with children, key messages of the films, and session planning.

The guidance includes the components needed for a successful training on the use of these films. It is not, however, prescriptive, and should be adapted as appropriate to each individual context. The guidance includes both a 3-day agenda, suitable for training on one of the films, and a 5-day agenda, suitable for training on both films. It is organized as follows:

  • Preparation: A brief outline to help the trainer prepare to conduct the training of animators.
  • Agenda: Two sample agendas (3-day and 5-day) that can be adapted as necessary based on context.
  • Modules 1-5: The modules as included in the guidance are meant for the 5-day training. Guidance is provided in the agenda on what to cut out for a shorter training.
  • Module 6: Additional sessions not directly related to the films that may be useful to include during training sessions. These include child protection, and self-care and relaxation.

This publication builds on existing resources, namely the comprehensive Facilitator’s Guide and Training Manual published by No Strings International and CRS, and Standards and Guidance for the Use of the Films "Out of the Shadows" and "Red Top, Blue Top", published by CRS. Trainers should make these publications available to animators during and after the training. Guidance on Training is complemented by Refresher Training Guidance for the Use of the Films "Out of the Shadows" and "Red Top, Blue Top". For more information on the films, please email [email protected]


  • Introduction

  • Preparation 

  • Tips for Trainers

  • Suggested Training Agendas

  • Module 1 – Introduction to the Methodology

  • Module 2 – Puppetry

  • Module 3 – Working with Children

  • Handout: Handling difficult situations

  • Handout: When to make referrals

  • Module 4 – Key Messages of the Films

  • Module 5 – Session Preparation and Monitoring

  • Module 6 – Side Sessions