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The special role of animators

How to encourage people who bring new ideas, enthusiasm and a vision for change

2005 Available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

Pillars magazines on a desk

From: Pillars guides

Practical, discussion-based learning on community development for small groups

  • The role of an animator is rarely given a formal title within a group. However within most successful groups there will be at least one animator. These are people who bring new ideas, enthusiasm and a vision for making change possible. They rarely push themselves forward but have a real concern for the well-being and progress of the group. They don’t just talk about new ideas, they make them happen practically.
  • Animators believe in the potential of people in their communities and help provide the energy that is needed for change.

An illustration of four women talking together

  • Discuss the idea of the role of an animator. Do participants agree that these people are usually found in each group? How often are they the Chairperson?
  • Are all development workers in NGOs and Church organisations animators?
  • List the qualities an animator may have. Start by mentioning:
    • encourager
    • enabler
    • trainer.
  • Can these qualities be learnt and developed in someone?

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