Sunday, 30 September 2012

Rub a dub dub!

Janet, Maria, Jedidah and Mercy
Our children are very busy as you can see in these pictures taken by Margaret, 12.
And here, in her Happy House blog spot, she tells us what her brothers and sisters are getting up to... the result of a decision they made at Kidz Council.
"The children of Happy House are enjoying washing their uniform.
Washing your own clothes is a good way. Because you learn how the feature is likely to be done.
Not all the children washes their own clothes.

Evans and Fikiri
The children who wash their own clothes are the children who have  eight years to 15 years.
We learn how if your clothes are very dirty how can you clean them.
Learning things while you are eight years and above it is the best way of a life.
You know that if today you are a child tomorrow you will not be a child again.
The Happy House children are already washing their uniforms because they want to learn about life. They want to learn about the feature. Here are my sisters and brothers enjoying washing their uniforms."

Samson


Jedidah, Janet and Maria


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Saumu's birthday

Saumu Safari, one of five children rescued from a life of destitution and neglect, is getting the hang of having a birthday!
I was at the Happy House last year when, for the first time in her young life, she received a birthday present and was just a little bit bewildered by it all.
Now a year on and having watched the excitement of her Happy House brothers  and sisters celebrating their birthdays,  she's absolutely beaming, enjoying the limelight as she receives her gift from Auntie Velma at Kidz Club.
Happy birthday Saumu..
THANK YOU
Thank you to everyone who has taken time to vote for our wonderful Mama Sue in the Inspiration Awards for Women. Your votes will count towards the judges final decision. Each of the women shortlisted would make a worthy winner but, of course, we are all desperate for Sue to win. Whatever the outcome we have done our best to get her and her very special family the recognition they deserve. Thank you, again, with lots of love and smiles from all the Happy House family xx

Friday, 28 September 2012

Our David stands tall

It will be a year in November since Mama Sue and Uncle Billy were told by specialists that our beautiful boy David has Downs Syndrome.
They were told he may never walk and could live into his teens. They should take him home to the Happy House and love him.
Whatever the diagnosis, it is just a label, and Mama Sue and our whole family vowed that David, already loved as much as any child can be, would get every bit of help he needs to achieve his full potential.
And knowing what full, long and semi-independent lives people with Downs have in the developed world we sought the very best advice.
In February 2011
Armed with information from the Downs Syndrome Association in the UK, we have forged ahead with help for David ... and he, in turn, is now forging ahead in his own special way.
Two in December, he may still be behind his younger brothers when it comes to reaching those developmental milestones, but he's now giving them a run for their money!
A programme of exercises, designed to stimulate him physically and mentally, and other one-to-one help, over the last year is paying dividends.
 
Uncle Billy says: " David has come a long way and is very very active now.
"He crawls at supersonic speed and heaves himself to an upright position by use of furniture.
"He is very responsive to instructions and socially very engaging.
" Well done David, keep it up!"

Walking with volunteer DawnHeather White
David, a premature and poorly baby, was abandoned shortly after birth and joined our family when he left hospital at eight weeks. It is hard to imagine what life would have held from him had he not come home to the Happy House. He certainly would not be the healthy, achieving and vibrant almost-toddler he is today.
Mama Sue's aim for her Happy House children is that each should be the best that he or she can be.
And whatever it takes, however challenging a child's situation may be, we will do all we can, as a family, to fulfil that aim and to help our children achieve all they can in life.
LAST CHANCE TO VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
You have until 6pm today (Friday) click on this link  to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! Please vote NOW

Thursday, 27 September 2012

A lovely day

An inspirational and uplifting event, the annual Lancashire Woman of the Year Award lunch had a warm welcome awaiting Mama Sue and Elizabeth Gomm yesterday.
Guests at the lunch,  held at Mytton Fold Hotel, Langho,  were so interested to hear Sue, winner in 2008, talk about how far the Happy House has come since then and to see it for themselves in our video, A Very Special Job.
The event, supporting Barnardos which provides help and focus to so many children in need in the UK, will also have be a big boost to us, introducing our charity to newcomers who may not have heard about us before.
Bury Soroptimists are the driving force behind it, and as our Rukia's Bury Aunties, they were thrilled to hear how the little girl they sponsor is growing up. They generously brought along new clothes they have collected for our kids for Christmas.
 
There were five nominees, all of whom would have been worthy winners, and the 2012 award went to Pat Rodgers. Her 24 year old son was killed in Blackburn town centre whilst trying to stop a fight which had broken out. He was killed by a single punch from a drunken 16 year old. Despite their terrible loss she and her husband wanted something positive to come from it and set up a charity "Every Action has its Consequences". Pat has produced an education pack now used widely in schools, colleges and prisons, which addresses the issues of binge drinking and violence and the devastation it can wreak on the lives of others.
Her award was presented to her by surprise guest BBC North West Tonight presenter Annabel Tiffin. Many congratulations to Pat.
Thanks to everyone for making Sue and Debbie Gregory (above left) chairman of the organising committee.
Elizabeth and Sue with Rukia's Bury Aunties (top) and Sue with Sarah Flanagan (right) who hopes to volunteer at the Happy House.




VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! Voting closes at 6pm tomorrow.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Make Mama and our family both winners!

It was before the Happy House opened that Mama Sue was awarded the honour of being Lancashire Woman of the Year for her work to get impoverished children in Kenya into education and on the road out of poverty.
At that time, in 2008, work on her Happy House had only just started, the foundations were being laid, and little did any of us know what the next four years would bring.
How far Sue, now Mama Sue, has brought us in that short time.
Her Happy House is alive with the buzz of a busy, and ever-growing, family of children. A new child, or children, could arrive today, or tomorrow, we never know who or what a day will bring, but we do know, as Mama confirms, no child in need will ever be turned away. There will always be room for another.
We have greenhouses in the garden taking us toward self-sufficiency in fruit and veg, and our school has been added, and is also growing, and producing astounding results.
There is so much more to come as, and when, funds allow. And each project is a trailblazer for change.
All this is an extraordinary achievement by one woman who was so deeply touched when, on holiday in 2000 she came, by chance, across a small school where pupils were sitting on stone floors, counting with stones, their teacher without any of the most basic resources required to teach, that she vowed to make a difference to children's lives.
In the 12 years since, hundreds and hundreds of children, have been given a chance in life thanks to the three schools developed by Sue.
Today as she is back at the Lancashire Woman of the Year luncheon to update them on all that has happened in the past four years, she is one week away from the Inspiration Awards for Women where she is one of six finalists in the Most Inspirational category.
She is an unsung heroine, she's never been in it to win honours. The kids have been her focus and it is they who have driven her courageously  forward through her darkest moments when she has suffered so much physical and emotional pain.
Lancashire Woman brought her charity recognition in her home county, the Inspiration Awards would bring it national attention and help us to grow secure our fam,ily, and to grow it bigger even faster. 
 
YOU can help by giving Mama Sue your vote in an online poll which will help judges of the Inspiration Awards decide the winner. Voting closes on Friday at 6pm, but please don't wait.  Please click here to cast your vote now: http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Picture post

Harry and Rose proudly show off pictures of sisters Nadia and Saskia Traube, from Germany,  who with their parents Stephen and Kerstin, are members of their sponsor families.
Harry is holding a picture of Saskia on her graduation day, while Rose's picture shows the sisters on a skiing holiday in Switzerland.
Photographs, postcards and letters from their freinds around the world, broaden the outlook of our children as well as showing them how much they are cared for.
Thank you to all  our sponsors who take so much time and effort to share their own lives with their Happy House child. You are very special indeed.
Christmas wishes...
Thank you to everyone who has sent gifts for our children for Christmas via our Amazon wish list, how excited our Happy House kids will be when Santa comes to call. We have sent a personal thank you where possible, but we have not had email or home addresses for all of you, but you know who you are, and we are so grateful to you for your kindness. If anyone would still like to send something the link is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/registry/registry.html?ie=UTF8&type=wishlist&id=4JQKTPSM05F
VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php

Monday, 24 September 2012

Can we build it? YES, we can!

With so many inquisitive toddlers about our housemums need eyes in the back of their heads (I once told some little Happy House mischiefs I'd got them and now, each time I go back, they search through my hair to find them - and  some have!)
Vigilance without comprising adventure is key to bringing up our kids, and there's always a watchful member of staff, or older brother or sister, ready to step in if an exploit goes beyond the limits of safety.
But kids will be kids and spotting a ladder propped against the wall, Harry  and Peninah were soon stepping up to see the world from a different level.
Meanwhile, Stevie is concentrating on the pole.
Could it be we have some future builders in the making?
VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php
 
 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A visit to Grandma - by Maria

Grandma and Grandpa Yaa, both in their nineties,  from neighbouring Yaa village, are very much a part of the Happy House family and take a great interest in the way our children are growing.
The kids value the friendship of these elders and today's guest blogger, Maria, tells just how much the kids care and share. She also took the photographs.
"Hello from all the Happy House family.
I want to talk about Margaret. Margaret is a very good girl. Every Sunday, Margaret goes to the garden and looks for vegetables for Grandmother Yaa.
Then she goes and gives the vegetables to Grandmother who thanks very much. Margaret loves grandmother very much.
When she goes she is asked "How is Aunt Prisca and the other aunties?" and Margaret tells her.
Then she comes home."
VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php
 
 

Saturday, 22 September 2012

A gardening we will go ...

 
 
Just look at this little imp turning his hand to some planting in the Happy House garden.
 

Wherever Harrison goes, his brother Ushindi is never far behind and their big sister sister Salama always has her eye on what they are up to, so it's no surprise to see the three together showing off their harvest.
 
Uncle Billy took these lovely pictures for Chris Franklin, our webmaster, who also does so much to raise money for us by using his photographic talents to do the pictures for weddings of friends, in return for a donation.
 
Chris is a member of Harrison's sponsor family  and likes to keep his friends and business clients up to date with his progress via his website and Facebook pages.
One to watch out for.....
 
How quickly Sunday comes around, and the the children's slot to write the blog.
 
Tomorrow's guest blogger is Maria who has a lovely story to tell.
 
 
 
 
PLEASE VOTE FOR OUR MAMA SUE
Our kids lives have been totally transformed by Mama Sue and now they are all desperate for her to win a prize!
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue Hayward in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php
 
                                       

 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Charlotte settles in

American volunteer Charlotte Mara, from Princeton, New Jersey, is settling into life at the Happy House.
After a welcome from the children, student Charlotte was introduced to our way of doing things and now has a rota of work within the school and home timetables.
Her first morning was helping in the nursery section and, after lunch, she went into Class Two to take a handwriting class.
Uncle Billy's photo call was a tall order for Jane, who stood on a stool to reach the board for this picture, but Charlotte soon rolled it down to the kids' level when the class got underway. Also pictured is day pupil Hamisi waiting his turn. 
Welcome to the family, Charlotte. Enjoy your stay.
VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php
 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Post bag of surprises

Many thanks to Jo Wood from Great Chisell, near Cambridge, who has sent education dvds and cds for our children ... aave been put straight into use as you can see.
Jo and her family, husband Richard and children Tom, Nick and Milly,  visited the Happy House earlier this year and have stayed in touch since.
Thank you, Jo, for your generosity to our family. Gifts like these are a great help towards building our library -  having a library well stocked with  books, cds and dvds is one of our longterm aims.
Meanwhile Pendo was delighted to receive a postcard from Jane and Lawrence Chard, members of her sponsor family from Lancashire, while her eldest Happy House "sister" Lucinda was thrilled with a letter from an uncle and grandmother who live in the UK and sat down straight away to write back. Letters, postcards and pictures mean such a lot of our children and they keep them safe, their own treasures, in their memory boxes.
VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php
Those of you on Facebook and Twitter will already have read these touching words from our social worker Uncle Billy: "We really wish that she clinches the title which will make our charity noted.
That way,more people might feel the urge to join us in making a difference in the lives of the voiceless and helpless little ones ."
If you haven't done so already, please vote now.

 
 
 
 
  

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Picture perfect

    Our younger kids came out of school with some lovely drawings on Monday.
Linus, without a picture, muscled in on the line-up and must have had something very funny to say judging from the way he had Mwende, Ushindi, Pendo and Saumu laughing!

They were so eager to show them off that Uncle Billy had to go and grab a camera.
Alex, the last of the little boys off school after having a circumcision, was so eager to get to do a picture himself he was back in uniform and at school with his brothers and sisters yesterday.

VOTE MAMA SUE
 
 
Please click on the link below  NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win!http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php
 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Thank you to Clare and Carlow

 
A visit to our family left a lasting impression on student Clare Mullins, from Carlow, Ireland.
Clare has since raised a great deal of money for the Happy House and her latest effort has brought both gifts for our Christmas appeal and 560euro plus £1!
Clare says: " I always have Happy House on my mind since the moment I visited in summer 2011. I've had such a hectic and busy 2012 I haven't been able to do as much as I would have liked for the kids, so when I heard that Mama Sue was looking for Christmas clothes and gifts for the kids I knew I wanted to do something because every child should have a smile on their face at Christmas!
" I had a little think to see what I could do. I called down to my local Primark and booked in a day to fundraise as it is a very busy spot in Carlow.
"I had the local radio broadcast a little piece about the Happy House and how people could sponsor a child and reminding them to pop down to me to purchase a gift or clothing for the kids or simply donate money.
" As it's such a busy time of year it was hard to gather people to help. But one person I can always count on is my close friend Jennifer Osaro , whose family originate from Nigeria and have lived in Ireland for many years now. Her charismatic nature and friendly smile soon had people dropping their spare change into our buckets making sure not to let anyone pass without hearing us in unison as we chorused '' Would you like to Support the Happy House Children's Home.''
" Most people gave a chuckle to here us in unison and couldn't resist to come and have a little look at the posters I had made from my visit with photos of our kids and to donate. Many even knew about Mama Sue and I encouraged them to vote for her in the Inspiration Awards for Women.
"We sat from 9.30 am to 8pm that evening taking an hour's break to recoup. It was a long day, but so worth it when I tallied up the total. People are so generous when it comes to children, I have wonderful friends who came down purposely to buy clothes for the kids.
"The fact that they took time out to do that really proves to me the social awareness that people have these days of those who are less fortunate than them and this keeps me inspired to do more for the Happy House as soon as I can! "
Thank you Clare you are such a good friend to our children and we send lots of Happy House love and thanks to you, to your friend Jennifer, and to everyone who donated.
Thank you Poulton Ladies
Mama Sue and Elizabeth received a very warm welcome from the Poulton NFU Ladies when they went along to talk about the Happy House family.
A lot has happened since Sue's last visit to them at Singleton Lodge in 2009 and they were delighted and impressed by the Happy House and the family she has created there. They were very generous,too, and the club donation, plus a collection, raised a total of £152.30. Thank you ladies, we had a lovely evening and very much enjoyed your company (and your cakes!)
MAKE MAMA A WINNER
If you haven't done so already, please click on this link now to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue Hayward in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration for Women Award 2012.
 

Monday, 17 September 2012

PLEASE VOTE MAMA

There are 59 sets of little fingers crossed at the Happy House as the kids get behind the voting for their Mama Sue.
Without her, life would have been very different for each one of them and they certainly wouldn't have the saf, loving and worry-free childhood, the Happy House family gives them.
Please take a lead from Hope, Francis, Lily and Samson and Vote for Mama Sue in the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012 and help her and her work receive the recognition they deserve.
To vote  for Sue Hayward click on: http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php

Sunday, 16 September 2012

A painful subject - by Evans



A trip to the clinic for some of our little boys is the subject of this week's Happy House blogger, Evans.
Evans, a concerned and caring big brother to all the younger children and chairman of our kids council, writes:

"I hope you are fine and me too.
I am glad to tell you that some of the boys' power were circumcised. These boys are Suleiman, Linus, Fred, Alex, Peter, Paul, Jonathan, James and David.
During the time of circumcision it's so painful even you cry and scream. It's better when you are still a baby. Then you be circumcised.
But if it is done whn you are a big boy it you will disturb.
The boys have been so brave they all won the prestigious star of the week awards at Kids Club. Some are pictured here with their honours as graced by their sisters."
Pictured are: Mwende (in red) and Sulieman; Thumbs' up from Linus with Jane (in brown); and  Zawadhi and Freddie.
Mariam shines brightly
All our kids shine but every week those who have been brave or done something special to earn a Star of the Week Award.
Mariam (right) is a very worthy winner. She was a real little Florence Nightingale to the group of little boys who need a bit of extra TLC after their visit to the clinic to be circumcised.
The boys were all very brave and resilient, and we are so proud of them, but know they were help by the extra care they received from their big sister.
Mariam received her award from Natasha, the newest member of our family and a second Natasha.
Well done Mariam you are such a kind girl.
 
 



Saturday, 15 September 2012

Wedding bells bonus

Our very good friend Chris Franklin raises money for the Happy House by using his talent with a camera to photograph weddings for friends in return for donation.
Most recent of his happy couples are Lizzie Bowerbank and Barry Forster who were married earlier this month at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Devizes, Wiltshire, followed by a reception at North Wilts Golf Club where Barry is the golf pro.
They are also delighted  to be helping our children and will be telling their friends all about our charity in their thank you letters.
Thank you so much Lizzie and Barry. We wish you every happiness. Another big thank you to Chris,too, who tells me he's back behind the viewfinder again today for another wedding.
Good luck Sheila
Wishing lots of luck to Sheila Davies who produced our wonderful video A Very Special Job at the Royal Photographic Society's AV Festival taking place in Cirencester, this weekend. The video, which is already winning us many new friends, was one of only 80 selected to be shown during the event. We so hope it brings her a prize.
VOTE MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php






   

Friday, 14 September 2012

Two's company

Could there be a romance blossoming in the baby class?
Or maybe they're just thick as thieives and plotting a little mischief.
Uncle Billy snapped this cute shot of Stevie and Natasha after school yesterday.
We hope it will make you smile, just as it did us.
VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration   Awards for Women 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Grandma's gift

Grandma Yaa maybe in her nineties but she is still keen to grow vegetables, just as she always has, on her plot at Yaa village.
And with the rains helping to produce a good crop of maize this year she and Grandpa thoughtfully sent some round to the Happy Houseas a gift for our children.
The kids enjoy eating maize, as sweetcorn, or as ugali - a dough made from maize flour and which is a staple in the local diet.
Thank you Grandma, as you can see our kids were jumping for joy showing off your generous gift.
Christmas is coming...
Apologies for giving an incomplete link to Mama's Christmas Wish List on yesterday's blog, so if you would still like to buy something from it for our kids this Christmas the link is:
And finally...
We will be carrying this reminder every day until the Inspiration Awards closing date!
VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration for Women Awards 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Books ... the vehicles for change

If education is the road out of poverty, books are the vehiclee.
Mama Sue was told that by her beloved dad who did so much to encourage her own passion for reading.
So fostering a love of books and reading at the Happy House is so important to Mama and that means providing a well-stocked library to cater for the diverse literary thirsts of all our kids.
That's why high on our wishlist for Christmas gifts on Mama's Amazon Wishlist are softback books on all kinds of subjects to suit all ages of children.
Our good friend Andrea Manders, who isin Natasha's sponsor family, has made  bookplates so that every child who receives a book from Santa will have their name in their book. It will belong to them and they will be encouraged to keep their book safely in the Happy House library so that it can be shared and enjoyed by all their brothers and sisters.
We are so grateful to Elaine Silverwood (pictured) of real little gem of a bookshop, Silverdell Books, Kirkham, Lancashire, for donating two boxes full of books to our family.
Her wonderful  bookshop and ice cream parlour, which attracts some of the nation's leading authors for signings, is also passionate about encouraging children to read, just like Mama.
Elaine is delighted to think that some of their books would be making their way to our family.
"I always get extra World Book Day titles and give them to schools that are under-funded in their libraries or in areas of deprivation. I love the idea of these going to your charity," she says.
Thank you Elaine and Silverdell for being so generous. Your books are going to very special little people in a very special place.
*If you would like to buy a gift for the Happy House from Mama's wishlist please click on http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/registry/wishlist/ref=wish_list
VOTE FOR MAMA SUE
Please click on this link NOW to cast your vote for our amazing Mama Sue in the Most Inspirational category of the Inspiration for Women Award 2012, she so deserves to win! http://www.inspirationawards.com/voting/index.php