Saturday, 31 May 2014

Flying high

 Let’s go fly a kite …
Madam Tanui took her KG2 pupils out on to the Happy House playing field to learn a little about how the wind works.
And what better way to show them the power of the wind and to talk about its many uses than by flying kites.
The children had great fun joining in this special PE lesson.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Charting growth, a job for Peter

Peter is a student with Premese African Institute studying community health and development and has come to the Happy House on attachment.
He si with us for three months and hopes to learn a lot in that time.
After an induction to get to know a bout our family and how we work,  he got cracking with monitoring growth, which entails weighing and taking the height of everyone  and updating their records.
For the older ones we do it bi-annually whereby it is a monthly weigh-in and measure for the under 5s.
Welcome home, Peter.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Birthday greetings for four

There were four birthdays to celebrate at Kids Club this week – and presents for every child.
All the family sang Happy Birthday and How Old Are You Now? as Selina, John, Harrison  and Oscar went up to receive their gift.
Happy birthday Selina, John, Harrison and Oscar from all your friends around the world.
Pictured: Top: Oscar and Selina, bottom: 
John (left) and Harrison

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

School report: Book joy, sports and exams

 School Report this week comes from Happy House School manager,  Madam Rose:
Mock exams were on the agenda for Classes 6 and 7, as they are key to preparation for the District Examinations to come and for setting pupil targets.
Books brought smiles to our Dr Danwata Scholarship students, when teachers handed them the text books they will need for revision for exams in their personal study time and at home.
Being so well equipped to study  is so valued by these young people who are trying so hard in their studies and who are looking forward to the challenge of examinations.
It was also start up week for the athletics competitions and  Happy House invited nearby Bright Academy to gauge their strength.
When the contest ended Happy House emerged with 166 points against 135 points.
The friendly contest was fun for everyone and activities which took place were tug of war 100M, 200M, and relays.
Pictures: Top left: Madam Rose and Mr Isaac giving out text books to Rasoah and Diana. 
Top left: Mr Isaach hands books to Juma and Mtwali.
Larrge pic: Top from left: Class Six in exams and, righ, Class Seven. Bottom: Tug of war v Bright Academy and Hassan romps home to finish the 100m.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Bank's birthday treat

 It may have been a bank holiday here in the UK, but in Kenya this weekend saw a bank's birthday!
The Imperial Bank's branch in Watamu celebrated it's anniversary and invited Mama and the Happy House children along to join in the party.
There was cake, biscuits and juice which everyone enjoyed and Harrison was chosen for the important job of helping to cut the cake.
Thank you to Imperial for sharing your special day and many happy returns.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Love in the post

Letters, photographs and postcards from members of their sponsor families mean so much to our children..
They open an exciting window on the world but are also a show that there are people, beyond the Happy House, who care.
Birthday cards and letters are greeted with smiles and thanks to Uncle Billy, who reads everything with the children, they really know who has sent them .
For children who have no, or few, relatives, this is is so important which is why Mama decided from the outset to build sponsor families for our children.
So, as the summer holiday season approaches, please pick up a postcard and pop it in the post for your child.
A simple gesture will bring so much joy to your child and another treasure for their memory box.
In case you need a reminder of the address, it's Sue Hayward's Happy House, PO Box 796, Watamu, Kenya, East Africa.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

A visit to Milano - by Daniela

The supermarket chain Milano opened a branch in Malindi last year, making it much easier to get many items and a trip to the store is also a source of adventure for our older kids, as Daniela tells us with a colourful turn of phrase:
I want to talk about a visit to Milano. It was on a bright shining morning when birds were singing their sweet melodies that I rushed to the frogs kingdom (the bathroom) the water was as cold as ice. I went to my room and put on my clothes.
I went and ate my breakfast.
In  a spur of a moment,  I heard  mama coming ,when she arrived we went and greeted her .
Mama told is that we were going to Milano. My heart melted with joy like butter exposed to the heat.
Mama Sue told us that we must be smart, all the people were beautiful  dressed and they looked spick and span.
We all went to the matatu and our journey began. Within a twinkle of an eye we had reached  Milano. When we were going to enter Milano everyone looked at us as if we were made of a mahogany tree, we decided to give them a cold shoulder. 
We  were looking  for a music system  so we can play our music, we found one
and it was beautiful. Mama  Sue asked us if we should take this one and we said “yes please”.
We came home with it, it is fantastic to have it.
Lots of love from Daniela.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Star quality

Meet our star of the week ... Athman.
As we mentioned last week, his premature start in life has delayed his development a bit but with the love, nurture and nourishment of the Happy House family he's slowly catching up.
And every new landmark is a cause for celebration. 
Athman is cutting teeth and it was agreed by everyone that this achievement warranted a Star of the Week Award which he was presented with at Kidz Club, when David, one of many big "brothers", carried him up to receive it.
Congratulations Athman, and thank you David for being a lovely brother.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Mama's story inspires

Mama Sue's story never fails to touch the hearts of of those who hear it.
They are uplifted and inspired by the
extraordinary focus and determination that put her on the road to the Happy House, with Papa Dave walking alongside her every step of the way.
Elizabeth Gomm had pleasure telling their story to  the Amounderness Life Long Learning Group and to introducing them to our wonderful family.
A lovely group of about 80 members, who meet at Thornton Parish Church,  made a donation of £50 and a collection raised another £57.
Thank you to everyone for being so welcoming and so generous.
* If you live within easy travelling distance of Blackpool and would like a talk on the Happy House please contact Elizabeth on 07905 130589 or email

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Celebrating life with memories and cake

It was the death of Sue's beloved dad that led her to Kenya and the start of the incredible journey which culminated with the creation of her wonderful Happy House family.
Mama with birthday girl Janet
When Harold Heyes died suddenly, Sue was devastated and eight months later, fearing she would have a breakdown, Dave took her to Kenya for a holiday. 
Sue's beloved  dad
The rest is, as they say, history.
Tuesday was the 15th anniversary of his death and Mama has decided to honour his memory by making it an  annual Celebration of Life.
Top: Billy, Coral and birthday boy Said
Mama talked her idea over with her team who agreed  that as all our children, including ur Dr Danwata Scholars, have experienced loss in their, it would be a good way to remember loved ones as a family, to share memories and to  talk about the importance of life lived well.
At a special Kidz Club , Mama Sue spoke affectionately about the loving father who was such an influence on her growing up, and who remains a constant source of inspiration to her still.
She also shared with them the story of Papa's tough childhood growing up, one of 11 children, in a very poor family in a Yorkshire mining village. His father was sick man and money was hard to come by, but his wonderful  and kind mum made up for everything they lacked materially with an abundance of love and happiness.
Others shared their stories of loss and love -  Uncle Billy of his dad,  Auntie Coral of her husband, and Uncle Isaac of his older brother.
It was a time of fond  memories, but with the emphasis on the celebration of life ... and two birthdays brought this into sharp focus as everyone sang Happy Birthday to Said and to Janet.
And no celebration at the Happy House is complete without cake, and the family all enjoyed a slice of cake and a bottle of soda.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

School report: Weaving and storytelling

 In the weekly news from Happy House School, Madam Sarah reports:
Weaving ropes is one of the topics on the syllabus for our Class four pupils this term so they took part in a practical lesson when Madam Milka showed them how it is done.
It was something they all found interesting and enjoyable.
Coral Blackhurst, a volunteer who is Auntie Coral to the Happy House family, helps a great deal in our nursery school and the baby class always have fun listening to her telling a story which she combines with singing songs.
We really appreciate the work done by the volunteers who assist us teachers in delivering school programmes.
Pictures: Top:  Juanita ,Joy, Tonia and Musyoka weaving 
Above right: Madam Milka, Darren Mali and Joy  weaving ropes as directed by their teacher.
Above left: Maxwell and Bencarson also enjoying the lesson.
Left: Auntie Coral's storytelling lesson.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Purposeful play

Our little ones are being given a helping hand to make the most of their play time after school and weekends 
Mama, keen to reinforce the message of constructive play, called a brainstorming meeting with teachers and aunties when everyone was able to put forward their ideas.
It was also a chance to emphasise  the importance of toilet training as well as taking a leaf from the book of our highly trained teachers who do such a wonderful job with the littlies.
At weekends, the activities are well spread and include throwing, kicking and catching mini ball games, filling and emptying activities with sand or water, singing and dancing, bicycle riding, short races, sorting and grouping, jigsaw puzzles,colouring  and other games.
With the newly-energised programme starting at the weekend the kids had great fun improving  their coordination and other skills into the bargain.
Their older brothers and sisters couldn't stay away and had fun organising and playing a game of rounders! 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Fitness fun

  Chris O'Hare and his son Jacob, 14, will be be heading out to the Happy House to volunteer this summer along with Chris' girlfriend, Gabriella Gratix.
And as we ask volunteers to help us by raising money for our family, they are pulling out all the stops to make as much as they can.
Chris is organising a cycle ride along with cyclists from Poulton Wheelers which will see them taking part in a sponsored 150 mile Coast-to-Coast ride from Whitby to Blackpool on June 14
Chris and Gabriella ,along with fellow cycling enthusiasts, are doing the marathon ride but are also raising money in other ways, including a charity fitness night  on July 4 when it will be Warrior Combat v Zumba Fitness at the Wendy Holland Studio, Butts Close, Thornton Cleveleys.
Jacob is doing his bit with fundraising at Kirkham Grammar School.
Yesterday, Elizabeth Gomm joined them at Wendy Hollands Fitness to promote the Happy House night at an event she was hosting for the Stroke Association.
Jacob organised a couple of games which raised £52.13 towards their total.
Tickets for the event on July 4,  6.30pm-8.30pm, are £5 from Wendy Holland.
Many thanks to Wendy Hollands and to everyone who contributed or showed an interest in the Happy House. It was a fun day!
To support Chris, Gabriella and Jacob you can make an online donation at

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Helping in the kitchen - by Samson

Samson is a very helpful young man, as we find out from his blog today:
I was helping Uncle Josphat to wash plates, spoon and cups in the kitchen,
I  wash them  using  soap and a super brush to wash  the plate.
Uncle Josphat told  Baraka to call Samson and Hassan to help him to make breads and cake which we like to do,
On Monday evening  it was ugali and beans. The ugali was good  and beans they were very sweet so all the Happy House family they enjoyed the supper food.
They had a nice time on  the day when Aunty Libby was going back to UK we had beak cake and kept it cream and we wrote Aunty Libbys name on the cake and the cake was very sweet we loved cake and juice.
 I like helping in the kitchen.


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Tiles top it off!

Our kitchen worktops will now be so much easier to keep fresh and clean thanks to the addition of tiles, which have been paid for with money raised by our two volunteers Fabiola Matute and Aleka Quintana.
Mama decided that the tiles would be a very practical and permanent reminder of the time Auntie Fab and Auntie Ally, from Mexico, spent with our family.
The materials were bought locally, and a local fundi contracted to do the job which helps the economy in out-of-season Watamu when everything is quiet.
Thank you Auntie Fab and Auntie Ally for such a beautiful gift and many thanks to all your friends back home in Mexico who contributed to your fundraising efforts.

Friday, 16 May 2014

African bake-off cooks up cash

Our little Athman has some wonderful friends at Larkholme Primary School in Fleetwood, Lancashire.
Pupils at the school are in his sponsor family and take a great  interest in his progress.
The school recently held an African Bake-Off event and raised almost £170 for our family.
Teach Joanne Collin said: " The children baked some fantastic cakes for our Great African Bake off. We had so many entries and they were all based around the Africa theme. The Rotakids and I had the difficult task of judging."
They presented the cheque to our friend Sandra Foulkes, a member of Fleetwood Rotary Club who is also is also the mentor to the school's Rotakids, the most junior wing of Rotary.
Sandra was very happy to tell them that Athman, who is now 14 months, is doing well although his shaky start in life does mean his not hitting his developmental milestones quite as as quickly as a child with a better start.
Uncle Billy reported: "But as time ticks on he will definitely catch up with normal growth. "After regular exercises overseen by volunteers Fabiola and,Aleka, with help from Aunty Florence, his motor and social skills have come on leaps and bounds.
"Thanks to their dedication he can  now sit without support and plays with toys.
" Notably,he responds to his name with a broad smile and is a truly lovely little boy who is lucky to be in a loving and caring family."
Thank you to everyone at Larkholme for all your love and support for Athman, we hope you had lots of fun with  baking, and tasting your cakes!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The magnificent seven

There was a birthday bonanza to celebrate at Kidz Club this week with seven members of our family celebrating their special day.
Our lovely Auntie Rose,  Mama's Sue right hand woman, was joined by her husband Fred for her first birthday as a mum. Their beautiful daughter Joy was born in September.
And there was a cake for Auntie Rose with a piece for everyone!
Birthday gifts were distributed to birthday children. Papa Dave presented Victoria with her gift, Uncle Isaac did the honours for Fatuma , Auntie Dawn Heather for Melissa, Uncle Fred for Rukia while Auntie Coral had a double with gifts for twins Jonathan and James.
Happy birthday to you all.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

School report: Busy time ahead

This week's Happy House School Report looks ahead to what's on for our children this term. Mr Mdachi reports:
This school term is 14 weeks of learning.
And key this term is athletics with serious  training already started in our school.
On the side of athletics , we are intending to take  our children to the zona and, district level and have hopes of achieving up to national level.
Areas that we are going to participate in the athletics include : relay races, 100 metes, long jump, high jump, tug of war and javelin among others.
In the side of the curriculum activities we started as we mean to continue with serious learning from the first day of opening.
Class 6, 7 and 8 are going to have a District common wake-up exam and our children are serious revising for this
exam with the help of their teachers so as to maintain the Happy House power. 
Class 5 children went into the grounds  (right) from  a Kiswahili practical lesson in the importance of plants and trees with the help of  gardener, Uncle Thuva.
The children learnt so many things in the importance of trees. The lesson was interesting and enjoyable and learners used all their senses in the learning process.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Kate and Chloe on top of the world

Three peaks under their belt and £645 raised for the Happy House, Chloe Groves and Kate Beer deserve to rest on their laurels.
Despite bad weather, and at times deep snow,  friends Chloe and Kate were successful in completing the National Three Peaks Challenge in 27 hours at the weekend.
It saw them ascend Britain's three highest peaks,  Ben Nevis. Scafell and Snowdon.
Chloe, who is in Said's sponsor family, said: "Kate and I would like to say thank you to everyone who sponsored us. It was great to have so much support.
"We felt so proud of each other when we finished and knowing that we had pulled through it and made it to the end was a great feeling. We are so pleased to have completed the Three Peaks to raise money for this amazing charity.
The conditions were not the best and very difficult at times. Ben Nevis was very wet and we had to face and hour's trek to the summit through 8ft of snow! Scafell was better but still challenging. When we reached Snowdon there was very difficult weather, wet and windy. We made it to the final summit in 24 hours and completed the Three Peaks in 27 hours."
Chloe and Kate (pictured on top of Ben Nevis) showed real  Happy House Girl POWER to meet their challenge and we are so grateful to them for taking on such a tough fundraising mission. Our thanks to them and to all those people who supported them.
Every penny raised will go  to helping our children.
Thank you girls.
Lakeland talk
Kendal Inner Wheel were delighted to hear how much our family has grown and our Happy House developed over the last 12 months, when Elizabeth Gomm was their guest speaker.
Some of the members had heard Mama's memorable and moving address to the District Rotary Conference in Scarborough last year and were keen to have an update.
Thank you ladies for your lovely welcome and your donations, and welcome to a new member of family who is sponsoring one of our Dr Danwata Scholarship students.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Rain, rain ...please don't go away!

 While those of us in the UK and colder climes are wishing for some hot sun,  our Happy House family is celebrating the coming of the rains.
The months and weeks leading up to the late arrival of this year's rainy season has brought soaring temperatures and air pressure.
It has been uncomfortable for everyone, and trying to grow anything in the parched earth has been an uphill struggle, which brings its own hardships to many..
So there was great rejoicing when the heavens opened for the first real rain for weeks.
Uncle Billy says: "The heavens have opened and we can't be thankful enough for the blessing showers that will nourish and cool the earth to he comfort of  all plants and mankind.
Many thanks to our creator"
* The rains have, however, made it difficult for volunteer Scott Webster to do as much in the garden as he had hoped.
Uncle Scott, a great friend to Mama, Papa and all our family, is a keen gardener back home in Royal Wootton Bassett and on his visits to the happy house has done much to help our own gardeners with cultivating, pest control and crop rotation and, at other times, is in weekly communication with help and advice.
Uncle Scott, and his wife Laura, are in Rose Safari's sponsor family and Scott and bought her this lovely outfit.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

My guitar passion - by Margaret

Since having a guitar lesson with Jon Gomm,  a world renowned musician, back in February, Margaret has kept on playing - helped by of the books and dvds he has sent out  to the Happy House to help the kids enjoy the two guitars he bought for them to share.
Margaret tells us:
"Today's  guest blogger is Margaret and I want to talk about  the guitar lesson.
When Uncle Jon came to Happy House he taught me about guitar.
He sounded lovely,  he played his guitar very well and I wished I could play like him. 
When I started playing the guitar I thought it is difficult instrument to play but now that I am starting to know to play the guitar I am very happy.
I could not have done it, if it could not be for Uncle Jon.
Thank you for everything you are doing for me Uncle Jon so that I may continue learning to play the guitar .
I am very happy that maybe playing the guitar can be one of my dreams in my life .
I am very pleased.
Hugs love and kisses."

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Go, girls, go ...

On their way to Scotland this morning
Lots of good wishes to Chloe Groves and Kate Beer as they set off on their Three Peaks challenge tomorrow.
 Chloe, who is in Said's sponsor family, and her friend Kate plan to scale the three highest peaks in the UK in 24 hours in massive effort to raise money for the Happy House.
The National Three Peaks Challenge is an event in which we will both attempt to climb the highest mountains of Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours.
Chloe said: " We will climb each peak in turn, and will be driven from the foot of one mountain to the next. "
The total distance they will walk is estimated at 42/43 kilometres (26/27 miles) with a total ascent of 9,800 feet.
The highest of the three mountains is Ben Nevis in Scotland with an elevation of 1344m above sea level. Second in the challenge is Scafell Pike in the Lake District at 978m this is the lowest summit of the three. Finally, they will reach Snowdon in Wales, with an elevation of 1085m. Good luck girls. We know you can do it! 
* If you would like to make a donation to their fundraising you can do so online at

Birthday girl Mercy

This week sees the birthday of Mercy Changawa who was presented with a gift by Auntie Rose at Kidz Club. Happy birthday, Mercy.