Saturday, 29 June 2013

Friendship on the cards from Rotakids

 The Happy House is groundbreaking in its own right, but yesterday we were thrilled to be involved in groundbreaking event, a world first for Rotary International.
The global service organisation, which has more than two million members in 20+ countries, has a junior wing for primary school children, called Rotakids.
And yesterday, the very first Rotakids conference in the world was held for participating schools from Lancashire and Cumbria, Rotary District 1190.
The gathering at Lancaster University took the theme of Peace Through Service, and was hosted by the District and organised by District Rotakids Coordinator, Margaret Lund, a member of Fleetwood Rotary, with lots of help from fellow Fleetwood members and others from around the region.
The Happy House was one of several organisations asked to be involved in the workshops held during the morning.
Janet, Irene and Sandra
In our workshop, groups of children took part in three 45-minute sessions when they each made friendship cards for two Happy House kids.
Elizabeth Gomm  made a short presentation to each group to tell them a little about our family and showed them an extract of our video "A Very Special Job" so they could see Mama, Papa and the kids at the Happy House.
Elizabeth gave them  pictures to take home of the children they were making their cards for, to make it more meaningful for them.
Oliver Hammond
Fleetwood Rotarians Janet Simpson,who is in Sudi's sponsor family; Sandra Foulkes, who is in Pendo and Saumu's family, and Irene Pollitt, who is in Abu's family, arranged the workshop and the three groups of children who took part all had a lovely time making lovely cards.
Margaret Lund
Elizabeth was able to tell each child a little more about the children they were making cards for - they were all so interested and enthusiastic.
Fleetwood Rotary has been a huge support to Mama Sue, Papa Dave and our family for a number of years. Retiring District Governor David Simpson, from Fleetwood, invited Mama to speak at their conference in Scarborough where her impassioned speech brought us so many new friends from Rotary Clubs around the region.
Now they have won us more friends, Rotarians of the future, who will, we hope, be eager to know more about our charity and want to become Happy House ambassadors in their schools and wherever they go on to in life.
Lucy Shannon and Elise Frankland
Well done to Margaret (who is in Happy's sponsor family) and all her fellow Rotarians who helped make this such a wonderful event.
And thank you to every child who made cards for one of our kids ... we know just how excited they will all be to get a card from a new friend in the UK.
And every card will become a treasured possession, another precious memento of childhood for their memory boxes..
L:eft: District Governor, David Simpson calls in for a photo-call at one of our Happy House workshops.

Mama on air
How good to hear our Mama Sue talking to Brett Davison on BBC Radio Lancashire about the importance of education to children in the developing world. 
Mama, who developed three schools in Watamu, before opening the  Happy House, children's home and its two schools, knows just how every child in Kenya prizes an education - knowing that, for most, it is their only road out of poverty.
Radio Lancashire couldn't have found a better person to comment on this particular topic.
If you missed Sue on the radio, it can be picked up here, she is about 25 mins into the programme.