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Documentary Helps Shafted Kids

10 May, 2006 By: Angelique Flores

First Run Features' documentary The Devil's Miner is raising the consciousness of children working in dangerous mines in Bolivia.

Europe's largest daily newspaper, Bild, awarded Kindernothilfe KNH (“Help the Children”) 1 million euros for its program dedicated to youth mine workers in Bolivia. The grant comes at a crucial time when the U.S. Department of Labor is slated to complete its four-year educational initiative for Bolivian mining children in September 2006.

“KNH has been a small nonprofit working with these children and families for years,” said filmmaker Kief Davidson. “They screened The Devil's Miner to raise awareness and won the hearts of Bild decision-makers when they submitted the film with their grant proposal.”

KNH over the next six years plans to use the funds to liberate about 450 children from the mines. The program will include alternate income sources for 135 families, four new learning centers and a special food-provision program.

The documentary tells the story of 14-year-old Basilio Vargas and his 12-year-old brother, Bernardino, who work in the Bolivian mines to provide for their family. First Run Features is releasing the DVD ($24.95) May 23 to coincide with the film's broadcast premiere on PBS' Independent Lens.

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