Mbali: How the book came to be:
Why we made a book:
Mbali’s Bracelets was written, as many stories are, to build understanding of a situation that many readers would otherwise find incomprehensible. Every time this story is read and shared, a small step is taken to build understanding and empathy for vulnerable children who greatly need to feel safe and valued.
The story behind the photographs:
The photographs that are the basis for the story Mbali’s Bracelet’s were taken during a Rotary International community service trip to Kwa-Zulu Natal SA in 2004 . Berri Kramer accompanied a Community outreach worker on her visit to the child headed household you see in these pictures. There Berri met Gogo, who was checking on her grandchildren. The pictures in Mbali’s Bracelets were taken during that week. One year later, in 2005, Berri returned to visit with the family and bring them supplies as well as their own albums with photos.
The photos become an exhibit:
In 2004, Berri Kramer’s photos taken in Kwa-Zulu Natal were exhibited in local libraries and colleges in Maine.
Making every picture tell a story; creating a picture book:
The spirit of resourcefulness and creativity reflected in these photos inspired Berri Kramer to create this picture book about this family. Although the names of the children depicted here have been changed, the circumstances of their lives are very real.