Monday, 30 June 2014

Girl power rules at PTA

There was the famous Happy House Girl Power in action when the school PTA met.
The meeting of the all-female group was arranged at Mama's house as she is still not very mobile after breaking her leg.
Mama says: " Madam Rose our school manager and Kindergarten headmistress, plus Madam Joy the Primary School head very kindly organised for this month's PTA meeting to be held at my house.It was a very positive meeting. We discussed the minutes from the last meeting and the progress we have made since then.
Everyone was very pleased with our reports. 
I spoke about the Scholarship Scheme which is so very close to my heart. As always everything  depends on funding and sponsorship. I spoke of how I want in time to increase the number of children, as we look forward to building our  Happy House Secondary School.
I also spoke of the hard times  we are facing in  the coming months with fewer tourists, everyone agreed that we will pull together.
Rose and Joy spoke of excellent exam results, our children's achievements in the recent talent show and inter schools sports.
A very positive meeting with as always the famous Happy House GIRL POWER 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

A visit to hospital by Evans

Some of our little ones suffered such a severe bout of a sickness and diarrhoea virus, that they had to stay as in-patients at
Dr Arulla's clinic to get them rehydrated. When anyone is poorly, everyone shows concern  for them.
Evans, this week's blogger, writes:

Some of the little kids were sick so when they were taken to the hospital the doctor said that they were really sick so they could not come home the same day and needed treatment.
 It was sad that they couldn’t come home but we knew that they will get well.
The names of the kids are Amani, Esther and James. They were hospitalized on Friday till Saturday.
So on Saturday Uncle Billy came and he said if we could go and see the babies. Everybody was willing to go and see the babies. 
We started the journey to the hospital when we reached the hospital we were directed to the room where the kids were.
 We entered the room  when we saw them we were excited to see them and they were much better.
Everybody was glad and we took them home. 
We were very happy that they were back home to join with the rest of the family

Lots of love from Evans Hamisi

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Mud men triumph, Rotary talk and school events

Top picture (l-r): John, Simon, Onder and Paul
It's been a busy week at the Happy House, and busy times here too - today we  highlight some of the activities in the UK.
Blackpool man Simon Davies, who  now lives and works in Edinburgh, and three of his friends and colleagues,  John Murray, Onder Ozdemir and Paul Henderson,  put themselves through a gruelling and dirty physical endurance test when they took part in Tough Mudder Scotland.
The four friends work together at Port of Leith Housing Association, and Simon, who is going out to volunteer at the Happy House in August, says "The event itself was great and certainly lived up to its name! 
Simon Davies
We all thankfully got through it relatively unscathed though and would definitely do it all again next year. There were around 15,000 competitor's all raising money for different causes .
We chose Children of Watamu  because I, for a long time, had been amazed to see the incredible achievements made in the village over such a short space of time. 
When I discussed this with my colleagues and showed them the work that's being done and the work that you continue to do they didn't hesitate in agreeing to raise money for your charity.
 We understand the importance of projects like yours in trying to alleviate the poverty that children all over the world are suffering from and to provide them with a happier, healthier and more positive future. 
Reading about your achievements and ongoing work was a humbling experience for all of us and kept us going over the 12 gruelling miles of mud!
I myself am very much looking forward to meeting everyone in August and feel honoured to be given an opportunity to be part of such inspirational work.''

Thanks to all of you for raising £925 for the Happy House with your effort and to all those who supported you.
Rotary talk
On Monday, Elizabeth Gomm (Auntie Libby) spent a happy evening with the gentlemen of Amounderness Rotary Club when they met at the Marriott Hotel, Preston. The club wanted to know more about our wonderful family before deciding whether to give some support to our charity.
They were impressed by Mama's inspirational work and all she has achieved.
Thank you, gentlemen, for being a lovely audience.
Elizabeth is pictured with from left: vice-president, Shaun Ashworth; president Iain Robertson and treasurer, Sam Jones
School event
Our Happy House was invited to have an awareness stand at Breck Primary School's summer fair in Poulton le Fylde. Elizabeth and Happy House friend and sponsor Jackie Fineman gave out lots of information about our family, and held a fun game, for children only, to win Happy the Teddy .
Pictured are Michelle Varley, and her daughter Lucy, who were on the next stall loved hearing our stories about the children.

Friday, 27 June 2014

A new baby ... and a Buddy for Uncle Billy

 Our family has a new arrival, a beautiful baby boy.
After the sadness of the loss of our much-loved Athman,  we were all lifted by the news that the newborn baby, found abandoned, some days ago and who we have been supporting in hospital, was now ready to come home.
Mama writes: "Last week we were a very sad family with the loss of our Athman, then this week we are welcoming a new baby boy home.
The children were so excited when he arrived. 
We told them a new brother was coming and he was five minutes away, immediately they started singing our Welcome song and continued until he arrived. 
Safe in Mama's arms, and in Jedida's
The Happy House family all  crowded around the car as Florence tried to get out holding their new brother.
 Everyone wanted to be the first to see and hold him. 
The children were singing and laughing, it was such a special moment.
 He was handed to me, so tiny and fragile. 
All  the children wanted  to see  him and touch to his tiny hands and little legs, there was ooh’s and aah’s all round. When he gripped someone’s finger there were shrieks of delight.
Uncle Billy's new Buddy
Our new baby was found in some woodland over a week ago weighing 1.7kg he is now 2kg.
He will soon flourish as we weave our Happy House magic around this lovely lucky little person.
 I have named him Patrick, after Uncle Billy’s much loved brother who was killed in a car crash six years ago.
 Billy speaks of him often, always something they  laughed about together either as children or when they were grown men sharing a joke. 
Patrick's nickname was Buddy, so this will also be our  Patrick's name at home.
As no one will ever know for certain when he was born, our Buddy's official birthday is June 2.
* We always need more sponsors for our children. If you would like to know more about sponsoring a child - it cost just £20 a month to change a life - please email elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net or telephone her on 07905 130 589.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

The real World Cup Winner - Harry

Happy birthday Harry ... our world cup winner!
Harry, found newborn and eight weeks premature, on a rubbish dump in Malindi four years ago was only discovered because a normally busy street was quiet.
Everyone had congregated in bars and cafes to watch a World Cup match, and there was so little traffic that Harry's guardian angel, Warda,  heard the tiny rustle of a carrier bag as she walked passed the tip.
She was compelled to look inside the bag and, to her surprise, found our Harry.
He was such a tiny, poorly baby, but after eight weeks in hospital, with Happy House providing all the milk, medicines, nappies, clothes and love that he needed, he came home to our family and has thrived ever since.
Harry Hayward, four today,  is growing strong and tall, enjoying school, and is a real little boy who is giving you a thumbs up after receiving his birthday gift from Papa.
No matter what the result of the 2014 tournament, there's one real all-time World Cup winner
And that's our Harry!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

School report: Clinic call

School report this week  features an event when parents and teachers  work together. Madam Milka reports:
We held an academic clinic in the big banda for parents to get know about their children's performance and progress in school .
 It began at 9am and  parents were so happy with the structured exams for their children.
Our teachers decide this term to set exams without a choice of answers as this really helps pupils to focus, think, and be tested. The structured exams  are for  class one to seven.
Our  babies enjoyed a  picnic lunch at the kg section they ate while seated in a circle and they really enjoyed their lunch and were as happy as angels as you can see from our picture.
After academic day, the half-term holiday commenced.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Mama's dream ... or was it a vision?

Today, Mama Sue writes about a very personal experience:
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2012, it was devastating. We had gone to the UK for 10 days and had to stay for 18 months.
During that time I also needed two operations for a hip replacement.
My Dave was brilliant, he cuddled me when I cried, made me laugh and just loved me through it all.
When the hip replacement I had  done in Mombasa, in July 2010, collapsed the pain was horrendous.
I was in hospital for nine weeks waiting for the excellent orthopaedic team to decide what was the best way forward.
I missed my children so much, I ached inside to see them.
We used to Skype and email but nothing compares to a little hand slipping into yours, as you look down there is a lovely little person with their eyes full of love, or when I can rub a bumped knee better or say’ Where is Mama’s kiss today?’ Little arms go around my neck and a kiss is planted firmly on Mama’s cheek.
I used to sit in the chair next to my bed in the hospital and let my mind wander to the Happy House. Imagine myself walking around, especially at night when all the children were fast asleep. 
One afternoon, my thoughts wandered to Happy House but I was stood outside the gate to the acre of land we have bought with funds raised by Charlotte Poulter and Saskia Flower at Harrodian School in readiness for our Secondary School to be built.
As I stood at the junction of two lanes, behind me was the way I had walked, in front of me led to some houses owned by Italians, to my left were the gates into the land and on my right the lane led down to the Happy House, just five minutes walk away.
 I was aware of a man just behind me to my right, I knew he was shorter than me  and was wearing a black coat, but I never turned to look at him.
 As I looked down the lane to my right there was a lot of boys aged around 7 to 10 years all playing in the hedge bottoms. I asked the man who are these children, why are they here? He replied,’ They are waiting’ For what? I asked: ‘For you’ he said. 
I turned to my left and pushed the gate open and stepped in. There is a base that has been built in readiness for the new school, on the this base sat older boys, 14 -18 years old. They were playing draughts and talking to each other quietly in groups. I just looked at all these young people, I felt overwhelmed.
 I did not speak to the man again.
When Dave and I finally came home to our family I knew I had so much more to do with regard to educating children.
But what and how ? I knew it would come to me and it did. 
Our free scholarship scheme that I have named after my very caring oncologist Dr Danwata, was born.  At present we have 20 children on the scheme, great kids who appreciate this opportunity in life and are working so hard to make us proud of them, and we are.
 I desperately want to extend this scheme but as always it comes down to finances. 
As trouble has erupted in Kenya with increased threats of terrorism, tour operators have cancelled flights from the UK and visitors from UK, Australia, USA and France, have been put off coming to visit because of advice from their Governments. British tour operators say it will be the end of October at least before they consider resuming flights.
That time is so far away for people who have nothing, with no tourists many are out of work all across Kenya 
Our own situation is no visitors or volunteers to bring us so many of the much needed items, shoes, socks, knickers, Pampers, toothpaste, our list of consumables is endless with a family of 84. 
More children will be abandoned and neglected as desperate parents don’t know which way to turn. The Happy House will be needed more than ever, as a safe haven for little people. 
There is an abandoned baby boy now in Malindi Hospital ready for us to bring home as soon as he is well. He was found in some woodland. 
So it starts.
So much to do, SO MUCH.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Civic day success in Blackpool

 
 Blackpool Civic Day was a celebration of giving when local charities were invited to have stalls at a fair hosted by Blackpool Civic Trust in St John's Church - right in the heart of the resort's town centre.
And the Happy House was delighted to be a part of the day which was an opportunity to make new friends for our family and to have a lot of fun.
Our volunteer coordinator, Elizabeth Gomm, who is in the sponsor families of Pendo  Francis and Happy John,  had a willing team of helpers- friends and sponsors. Lynn Baya Thoya (Musyoka); Jackie Fineman (Charity and Stevie); Andrea Manders (Natasha Thoya) and Joanne Rossall (Linus). Joanne brought along her daughter Charlotte and her friend Annie Whittle.
Charlotte and Annie get a special mention as they worked so hard and visitors to our stall commented on how helpful and polite they were, and thought how nice it was to see children helping a children's charity.
Visitors to our tombola, and who were also happy to have a go at picking a stick to win a kangaroo keyring, included some VIPs -  Blackpool South MP, Gordon Marsden; the Mayor's consort, Alan Haynes;  the vicar of St Stephen's on the Cliffs, Canon Andrew Sage, Wave radio presenter Andy Mitchell and Civic Trust chairman, Joan Humble.
A big thank you to the Civic Trust for inviting us, to everyone who came to visit us and to all those who donated prizes or made donations. Special thanks to the Civic Trust social secretary Sharon Sanderson-Roberts.
It was a lovely day which resulted in £180 for the our Happy House family.
Pictures: Top left: Joan Humble, Andy Mitchell, Nick Entwistle, Lynn Baya Thoya, Gordon Marsden.
Above left: MP Gordon Marsden has a go on the tombola.
Above right:  Top left: Canon Andrew Sage with Annie and Charlotte; Top right: Annie and Charlotte with Mayor's consort Alan Haynes; and (bottom) Andrea, Joanne and Jackie.



Sunday, 22 June 2014

Happy to be a Happy House kid - by Musyoka

Going to church is a time to celebrate the good things in their lives as this week's junior blogger, Musyoka, tells us.
Musyoka ,with his younger sister and brother, Mwende and Francis, was one of the first children to join our family in 2010. He writes:
Every Sunday we go to church ,we go to church to pray,
Sing and dance when it is Sunday, everybody is happy because it is the day that that we go to church.
I am happy to be a Happy House kid I came in Happy House so that I could learn all things.
Mama Sue is a kind mama she came to get us from a bad place and brought us to a good place.
 Today we have gone to church to praise the Lord, we will never forget the one who brought in a place like this. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Summer evening in Singleton and today in Blackpool and Italy

The lovely ladies of Poulton Tangent Club gave Elizabeth Gomm a very warm welcome when she went along to their meeting at Singleton Lodge Hotel tell them all about our Happy House family.
Invited by Sheila Dickinson, who sponsors our Francis, Elizabeth was delighted to see Mrs Donnelly, who is in Neema's sponsor family.
The ladies were so interested in the story of how Mama has started her journey which led to the Happy House, putting hundreds of children in education in the three schools she debeloved on the way.
A collection raised a wonderful £120 and the club is also sending a donation to our family.
Thank all for being so generous.
In Blackpool today
If you are in Blackpool today please come and support our Happy House stall at Blackpool Civic Trust's Civic Day at St John's Church Hall (opposite the Winter Gardens)
It starts at 10.30am and runs until 3.30pm and we will have a stand with a tombola, and lots of information about the Happy House. There will be 20 stalls with lots of variety and the cafe will be open for refreshments. Admission is free.
If you have been thinking about sponsoring a child and want to know more come along to see us and we will be happy to help.
It costs just 65p a day - £20 a month - to change a child's life, and your own, forever.
We look forward to seeing you.
While in Italy ...
Some of our friends in Italy have a fundraising event for our Happy House today up in the Alps at Bindo Cortenova organised in conjunction with the Alpine Group and the Association of Lierna San Biagio di Cortenova. The event with food and entertainment starts at 10am and continues through to 2am tomorrow.
We wish you a very happy day.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Your love gives our family strength

Mama, Papa and all our family are deeply touched by all the loving messages sent direct or left on our Facebook page following the sudden death of our beautiful little boy, Athman.
The warmth and sympathy conveyed in your words are a real comfort to us all and the love we can feel coming from them gives us strength at this difficult time. 
You are a blessing, as are your prayers.
With a big family of children we must look forward with hope and optimism as we  celebrate Athman's place in our lives and hearts.
His sister and brother, Sudi and Abu have the support of all our family and Uncle Billy is providing the counselling and comfort  they, or any other child, may need.
Athman was a special little boy  whose legacy will be one of universal love.
Blackpool Civic Day
We are having a stall at Blackpool's Civic Day in St John's Church Hall (opposite the Winter Gardens) tomorrow from 11-3.30pm. As well as raising awareness of our work at the Happy House,  we will have a tombola. If you are in Blackpool on Saturday please pop in and say hello (admission is free), and if you have any tombola prizes please get them to Elizabeth Gomm today. Telephone: 07905 130 589.
Thank you.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Heartbreak for our family


It is with overwhelming sorrow we bring you sad news that our beautiful baby Athman died suddenly yesterday.
He had been fine, and the morning started as it always does with the aunties getting him up as usual.
He enjoyed his breakfast, and then he was out in the baby banda with  the other tinies where he was laughing and smiling while aunties did his exercises with him. 
Fifteen month old Athman was his happy self, enjoying the love and attention of his daily routine.
He showed no signs of any sickness or distress.
Shortly afterwards, when aunties took him for morning bath, he suddenly went into a spasm, his eyes started rolling back and they knew something was very seriously wrong.
He was rushed to Mama's doctor,  Dr Arulla , who fought to save him but he was unable to so.
Mama, Papa and all our family are heartbroken, as we know you will be.
Mama held a  kidz club so that she could tell all the family together and tells me everyone is very subdued and quiet, but they are thinking about their beautiful brother and celebrating his special place in their lives.  Every adult and every child will have their own memory of Athman to cherish and keep in their heart.
His sister Sudi and brother Abu and all the children have the love and support their wonderful Mama and Papa, Uncle BIlly, Auntie Rose and all the aunties and uncles and we know that adults and children alike will support each other.
Our only consolation is that we made our Athman's all-to-brief life the best that it could be.
That he survived his premature birth, in which his mum and twin died, is a miracle in itself, he was such a poorly, malnourished, little dot when we brought him home to the Happy House with Sudi and Abu the odds were stacked against him from the beginning.
We sourced all the best medical expertise available to us, sparing no expense,  to try to establish why his development was delayed, but no doctor could come up with any answer so we did what we always do and gave him the best of care, all our love and held on to the believe that he would eventually catch up.
We know you, our family in the wider world, will share our sadness.
Uncle Isaac went out to the remote village where his grandmother lives to break the news, and Athman's father is being informed. They, too, have our support.
We try so hard to work our magic on every child who comes to us, but sometimes there is a greater plan.
Now our much loved Athman is with his Mama and his twin and heaven has a Happy House angel.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

School report: Talent will out

Nursery rehearsals
 There has been so much going on at Happy House School, Mr Isaac brings us this week's School Report:
It has been a nice week for us.
The highlight was that Janet Medza, who is in Class 7, represented our school at inter -county athletics competitions and finished the second and has made us so proud. 
We also acknowledge the efforts done by the Sports teacher Mr Steve for all his coaching which took Janet to this level.
Here we are in the county level and  now we hope for good results for her going higher when she  finals which are the Nationals. 
Triumphant Janet
Talent prizes: Evans, Baraka, Rukia, Musyoka
We must also thank our beloved Mama Sue for wanting to make it possible for every child to discover and develop their talents,
When we hosted a  talent show at Happy House with four school coming here to take part our children excelled:
 Evans Khamisi was the best actor in drama, Baraka was the best  in acrobatics, Rukia Esha was the best on the catwalk fashion show and  Musyoka was the best in cultural show as he made everyone happy with his thrilling dancing
Exam time
Class six and seven have have been undertaking the county exams this week and hope they will emerge the best. 
Lastly the nursery section are preparing for singing competitions which will be held at our school.
We shall be hosting 12 schools from our locality as far as we are concerned we have fully prepared the participants and will do all that we can to be victorious.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

My fantastic family, by Mama

Janet qualifying for her national athletics debut prompted a celebration.  Mama writes:
Saturday is my "Savourite Day", as Oscar used to sing when he was little instead of Today Is my Favourite Day. 
Papa Dave and I  love to go to Happy House just relax and chat with the children.
I have missed my Savourite Day so much since I broke my leg, but on Saturday we were determined to be at home with the  children. 
When Janet came to see me with the great news that she has qualified for the National athletics in 4 by 100 metres relay race I said we should have ice cream for all the family to  celebrate.
I also asked for a cake to be made as we were uncertain that ice cream would be available. Luckily, Papa found some at Mama Lucy's Supermarket and bought it all, with 85 kidz and staff we needed the lot.
We all had a lovely morning with ice cream and cake. Janet was so proud to cut her cake as we all sang Hooray for Janet. 
The children sang all my favourite songs saying it would stop my leg hurting. It worked !! 
What a fantastic family.
Love Mama

Monday, 16 June 2014

Wheelers breeze home to Blackpool

Start: Team picture at Robin Hood's Bay, from mist to sun.
 All 19 awesome Wheelers for Watamu completed their Coast to Coast epic ride from the seaside town of Whitby to Britain's rocking resort of Blackpool on Saturday.
They made it from start to finish in just under 13 hours.
Finish: Blackpool welcome  in shadow of the  Tower.
It was a gruelling 150 mile ride, with some serious hill climbs, and, for a time, through driving rain with poor visibility.
But a team of  tough-minded and focussed  individuals, determined to complete the demanding challenge they had set themselves, if  anyone found themselves flagging, the good-humour and support of the others was the booster they needed.
Darren Cremona said: "I went through every emotion possible on the way."
The event to raise money for the Happy House was organised by Chris O'Hare, who will be heading out to volunteer there in a few weeks time with his girlfriend Gabriella Gratrix and his son, Jacob, 14.
He and Gabriella, who met through the Coast to Coast ride, have done so much training for the ride they could have kept on going had the Irish sea not been in their way! 
Chris said: "Can you believe 19 of us cycled 150 miles and didn't have a single flat tyre! In fact no problems at all, even after Stephen Cox crashed he just got straight back on his bike with no damages! "
Time to celebrate!Top right, Elizabeth Gomm with Gabriella, Chris and Jacob
Team members were: Chris O'Hare, Gabriella Gratrix, Scott Taylor, Sean Devlin, Ian Walker, Ian Kitson, James Godwin, Barrie Hadgraft, Daz Cremona, David Gigli, Paul Brackpool, Alex Cremona, Ian Brownbridge, Mike Ryan,  Alex Williams, David Bednarek, Steve Cox, Asa Brown, and Stephen Beesley. Support drivers were: Steve Wilson, Pat Appleton, Stuart Sykes and Ivan Smedley.
Happy House volunteer UK coordinator Elizabeth Gomm and other Happy House friends and team members' relatives were waiting to cheer the cyclists as they came down the home straight along Blackpool Promenade to cross their finishing line on the Comedy Carpet.
Now they are all getting their sponsorship into Chris ready for a final total.
Thank you all for going the extra mile,
Like Blackpool, you rock!


Sunday, 15 June 2014

My sporting journey - by Janet

Sporting star Janet is our Junior Blogger this week and she tells us about her the
way she qualified for the inter-county zonal athletics contest which took place in Mombasa this week:
It was on a Friday that  we went for games at Gede for athletics. So many schools came for the competition and Happy House was also among the schools.
The activities were to begin at half past ten when all the teachers from other schools went for a meeting so that the activities would start on time. As soon as the teachers had finished the meeting and  the events started immediately.
We started with the long races and the third race was 100metres in which I was participating. Before going for the race Happy House pupils started cheering and I gave myself courage saying that I CAN do it.
Each school had to provide one participant, in total all the schools were eight. 
I went to the starting point where the race would begin and waited patiently for the race to start. When we were all there, the teacher in charge blew the whistle and then we began.  I finished to realize that I was position two, I felt so proud of myself. 
The other activity that I participated was Relay this race even the other schools were surprised because it involves 4 participants per team and we had mingle with other schools to form Watamu cluster. 
Our team was Mercy (Happy House), Twahiba (Happy House), Mercy from our nearby school Wings of Mercy and I.
The surprise is that when the race started our team was left behind and yet we finished the first. We were all selected to go for zonal on Wednesday June 4, when they would choose who would go on to Mombsa.
That we were selceted is something that makes you wonder,  Why is there is no boy who was selected? What shame for boys!
 And that’s why we have

“GIRL POWER” 

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Janet ...our sporting star

There was a hero's welcome for our Janet when she returned to to her Happy House family and school from a major sporting event.
Our very talented Janet , who has been such a special part of our family since she arrived with her younger brothers Evans and Oscar back in 2010,  has been in Mombasa representing the zone in the inter- county athletics competition at Ribe Boys School. 
Janet gave a brilliant performance achieving second place and everyone gathered to congratulate when she got back home.
And she also made a very special visit to see her Mama Sue at home, so she could tell her all about her exciting adventure and get that all-import hug from mum!
Uncle Billy says: “Janet’s exemplary performance has been a real triumph as it was previously believed that private schools have no chance in such competitive activities.
Uncle Billy says: “On the contrary the Happy House flag is flying high with a simple message that we are a force to be reckoned with not only in co-curricular ventures & in other talents but also in Academics.
Since inception, our school has a track record of performing well in music, drama, athletics and ball games.
Well done Janet, you have done us proud.''
Wheels are turning
Wheelers for Watamu, a group of 20 cyclists plus support team (and a dog),  are setting off from Whitby, on theYorkshire coast, early this morning to cycle a gruelling 150 miles across the Pennines back home to Blackpool.
The team of 19 guys and one girl, are doing the marathon ride to support our family. It has been organised by Chris O'Hare who is taking part alongside his girlfriend, Gabriella Gratrix.
Chris and Gabriella, along with Chris' son Jacob, will be volunteering at the Happy House this summer.
They left Blackpool yesterday, in their support vehicles along with their bikes and supplies, to head off to Whitby for an overnight stay. Elizabeth Gomm went along to see them off from Blackpool and to grab a team picture!
They will arrive back on the Comedy Carpet between 7pm and 8pm (approx) tonight - please come along and cheer them home!
While in Scotland... 
Friends Simon Davies, Paul Henderson, John Murray and Onder Ozdemir are taking part in Tough Mudder is a 10km military-style assault course , through mud, on the Dalkeith Estate
The10-12 mile obstacle course designed to test all-around strength, stamina, teamwork, and mental grit.
So far they have raised more than £900 for our Happy House family. To  support their effort go to http://www.justgiving.com/Simon-Davies27
Thank you to Simon, Paul, John and Onder. Everyone at the Happy House is looking forward to meeting Simon, from Blackpool, when he goes out to volunteer.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Sickness bug takes its toll

A viral infection has caused misery to some of our little one.
The first to get it were Esther, Peter, Paul, Neema  and Ndoro who started with diarrhoea and sickness one morning this week,immediately after breakfast, 
" They threw up in such quick succession it was as if they were in competition," said Uncle Billy.
While they were being comforted and cared for, encouraged to take plenty of fluids, Amani, Baraka, Mourine and James started with the same symptoms.
But for Amani and James the effects were much worse.
Uncle Billy adds:"They were getting weaker by the minute because of dehydration, so they went to the doctor who told us there is an outbreak in the area mostly affecting the under fives and that it is causing great concern and worry, and prescribed just medicine they needed.
"Because our Happy House kids are lucky to get all the proper medication and follow-up they soon pick up and we get our happy healthy kids back.
"They are all now happily back in school, not that Ndoro was feeling very happy about having his picture taken!"




Family ties


There was a surprise visitor for Sudi, Abu and Athman when their dad came to see them.
The man ,a fisherman,  who lives well into the hinterland from his late wife's widowed mother who was left with the children when their mum died in childbirth.
His enforced separation from the children is one of tribal tradition, but his circumstances are so poor that he would have been unable to support them.
Uncle Billy said that he had made the effort to see the children, who have been with us since March last year, and was made very welcome.
Mama and Uncle Billy feel very strongly that a child's links with their relatives should be maintained wherever it is safe to do so.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Difficult times drive more into poverty

The increased terrorism alert which led tour operators to stop flights and withdraw British holidaymakers from Kenya is having a huge impact on our community of Watamu .
The village depends entirely on tourism and the loss of British holiday trade,  just as the rainy season was nearing an end and hotels looking forward to a new season, will see many people, already struggling to eke out a living, pushed into poverty and despair.
Last month, after a series of bombing and terrorist incidents in some parts Kenya, the Foreign Office warned Britons against all but essential travel to parts of Kenya, including parts of Mombasa.  Thomson and First Choice, evacuated  400 customers, including those in holidaying in Watamu, and cancelled all further flights to Mombasa until October. Other tour operators followed suit, and Governments in the US, Australia and France issued similar travel advice to its nationals.  
Even though Watamu outside the no-go area, it is being drained of its lifeblood, tourism.
And as more families are driven to desperation, more children will suffer, making the work of our Happy House ever more crucial.
Mama Sue says: “ I am watching the rain pour down, the strong winds are blowing the palms trees into submission.
What a different place we live in during the rains. Of course we welcome the rains to grow crops for  much needed food , but it makes life very hard for the local people.
The roads are flooded because of no drainage system. Children wade through puddles up to their knees carrying their shoes, on their way to local schools. Their uniforms sodden on little backs, no one has a coat.
 With the rain come infections, coughs, colds , pneumonia and the dreaded malaria. Every visit to the doctor has to be paid for, every tablet prescribed comes at a cost .
Many people who don't have work during this time of year have no food on the table, no money for doctors. This year will be catastrophic
With tourist flights cancelled until the earliest October, there won’t be the work in hotels and there will be so much unemployment, not just in our local community but across Kenya.
Bars and restaurants are boarded up, their owners staying in Italy. The rains lash the deserted beaches there are no tourists for the beach boys to charm, no food for the boys in their fancy sunglasses. Nobody to but the wares from the beach traders and souvenir shops.
When the rains finish there will still be no tourists. Crime increases as people become hungry and desperate.
Children become sick, neglected, abused and, yes, abandoned as desperate parents  don't know which way to turn. 
Our Happy House will be more important than ever. I know we will be stretched to the limit in the next few months for beds and for funds.
Parents of the children who attend our schools will not be able to pay fees, how will we pay the teachers?
 It is a very distressing time for all. 
I have faith. We will batten down the hatches and stand together as the loving welcoming family that we are, and, yes, we will always have room for another.
To make a donation towards our  vital work please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/childrenofwatamu/Donate/ or to find out how to sponsor a child or  to support a scholarship student in our school please email elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

School report: Athletics success and KG keep fit

It's sports news that takes the top spot in this week's report from Happy House School.
Madam Gettry reports
Recently, we took 15 pupils to Gede Primary School for sub-zonal athletics competition.
Three participants were selected for the next level, the zonals
They are: Janet Medza (Std 7,100m an relay; Mercy Karisa (Std 6, relay); Thwaiba Abudalla (std 6, relay).
The zonals are at Kijiwe Tanga Primary School. 
KG 2 enjoyed being out on the Happy house field with teacher Madam Gettry for a Physical Education lesson.They started with press-ups led by teacher Steve then a singing game with their teacher, Md Gettry.
Madam Gettry's has also had some interesting lessons in science on water and sources of water.
One pupil, Melisi Garama read out the sources of water drawn on the board as others responded.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Smiles speak volumes

Simply magic ...
We will never tire of showing pictures of happy, smiling children, because that's how it works at the Happy House. 
They come to us as sad, frightened and worried little beings, carrying the weight of the world on their weary shoulders, and then our magic gets to work.
Safe and loved, they go to sleep in a bed and wake up to a breakfast, certain in the knowledge that there will be three nourishing meals every day.
  They make friends, go to school , have their own clothes, uniform and shoes.
 Now  they are never alone, need never be sad and always have someone to praise when they do well, encourage when they struggle and to listen when they need to talk. 
Our children are surrounded by people who care -  our wonderful Mama and Papa, uncles and aunties, all of whom put the interests of the children first.
With hope in their hearts, the children's smiles come, just as they have for our most recent arrivals, Victoria, 13, and six-month-old  Abdulmalik..
Please can you help?
Taking part in local events and fundraising in the UK requires that we have public liability insurance.
This will cost in the region of £150 for a year and we are appealing to individuals or businesses to sponsor this for us,
If you can help, please contact Elizabeth Gomm, our voluntary UK coordinator, on 07905 130 589 or email elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net
Thank you.