Basilio (front) and Bernardo in 2006
We spoke to Kief Davidson in April 2006 to see what effect THE DEVIL’S MINER has had in the two years since filming concluded, and how the Vargas family has been faring since.
“We continue promoting aid organizations dedicated to sustainable solutions and eradicating poverty in Bolivia. In the summer of 2005, Kindernothilfe (KNH), a German aid organization that’s assisting the children of Potosí, hosted a screening in Bolivia for politicians and a group of child miners—including Basilio and his brother—who were able to see the film for the first time.
“Kindernothilfe helped the Vargas family relocate off the mountain and open a shop to sell kitchen utensils as an alternative income source.
“As for Basilio, he has learned how to use the Internet and we correspond regularly via e-mail and chat programs. A follow-up video of Basilio and Bernardino will be available on the upcoming DVD for THE DEVIL’S MINER, which will be found on our Web site.”
Editor’s note: About the Kindernothilfe (KNH) grant:
Europe's largest daily newspaper BILD has awarded a leading
NGO—Kindernothilfe (KNH) "Help the Children"—1 Million Euros specifically
for their children's program dedicated to youth mine workers in Bolivia.
Over the next six years (2006-2012), KNH plans to use the money ($1.2 million U.S.) to liberate approximately 450 children from the dangerous mines. The program will include alternate income sources for 135 families and four new learning centers. To assist with the increasing problem of malnutrition in 1 to 6-year-olds, a special food provision program will also be created.
This grant comes at a crucial time because the U.S. Department of Labor is slated to complete its four-year educational initiative operated by CARE for Bolivian mining children in September 2006. We are confident, based on our observation of KNH on the ground and our continuing relationship with them, that every dollar will be spent directly helping these Bolivian children get out of the mines.
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