Participatory Film as a Tool for Social Change Among Drugs and Substance Users in Kiambu County, Kenya
Gitimu, Susan Nyawira
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Drugs and substance use in Kenya has reached crisis levels. Kiambu County has been especially cited as a hotspot for this catastrophe. Whereas different stakeholders have responded to this vice through legislative, legal and social methods, its persistence suggests a need to rethink the methods of mitigating this problem and their efficacy. This is precisely the justification for this study that examined the use of participatory film as an alternative tool for motivating social change among drugs and substance users in Kiambu County. Specifically, the study’s main objective was to establish the extent to which participatory film can be productively used as a pedagogical tool, to render and publicize the clearly sidelined views of drugs and substance users, and finally, as an exercise that can empower these users. The study used social change theory, qualitative research method, and descriptive study design to achieve these objectives. Using both probability and non-probability sampling, it selected two hundred members from fourteen self-help groups comprised of drugs and substance use victims in Kiambu County. Participants were recruited as experts out of their lived experiences, and guided to generate participatory data, as part of the primary data for the study. Other primary sources of data included participatory observation, focus group discussions (FGD), and interviews. Secondary data was collected through review of literature. As argued throughout this thesis, the findings affirmed that participatory film can be used as a tool for motivating social change among drug and substance users in Kiambu County. Through this argument, the study joins scholarship on film and social change and recommends the use of participatory film to other researchers and practitioners in the fields of film for development and the wider development communication. This approach is also recommended as beneficial to filmmakers and social change activists aiming to motivate change among different marginalized groups.