Monday, 18 October 2010

Happy House Open Day

On Friday the 15th of October we opened our doors to all the community. We invited everyone to come and see the the Happy House Kids. Most people know of the Happy House but had never been inside or fully understood what we are about. Around 70 people came to see us, we told them how we came to build the Happy House, about our children and our hopes and dreams for the future, the support we received was heart warming. Many people brought fruit, flour, biscuits, rice and maize. We have had promises of regular food donations which will be a great help to us.
 We  want to open a Nursery School in January. We received a generous donation from a Company that supported us last year to furnish and finish. They again contacted me to ask if they could help as they had enjoyed working with us and the feedback they received on how their donation was used.
 The Nursery School would be used by  the children of parents who can afford to pay for them to attend school, Managers in the hotels, local business people etc. If we can get that off the ground and it is self supporting it will enable us to offer free child places to the less fortunate. I have also had a generous donation from Limvardy Rotary Club in Northern Ireland, for us to build an outside Banda, that can be used as a classroom and play area. The children will be able to move up from the banda into the Nursery School itself, where we will provide uniforms and shoes, so that everyone will be the same and start on a level playing field. If your Dad is a Manager or your Mum can only feed you every other day you will look and feel the same as all the other children.  I say move up from the banda is because as the children come initially for the free places they will probably never have  worn pants, used a toilet or eaten anything but Ugali ( a local dish of maize flour ) They will not speak any English, know any discipline, other than being smacked, or have even the slightest idea of life at school.  This is why the banda is so important, to take these children from the bush and to put them in a classroom would be impossible, the banda is open, they can see around, they can at first, sit on the floor, as they are used to, until we can gradually educate them into a school environment.  This is not just about teaching ABC it is an education into being a member of the community, an individual who knows how to behave, how to eat, and yes, how to read and write. Lots of little people who will hold their heads high and say 'I go to Happy House Nursery.'