Sunday, 31 August 2014

The new aunt - by Hassan

Hassan brings us a happy blog today 
A blog about the new aunt
The new aunt is called Aunt Philis
The aunt is very good, I love her because if sombody does a bad thing she correct him or her.
She is kind.
I love her so much
My blog is over

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Our wonderful printers

Mar, Mama and Andy
A Mama's best friend is her printer!
Since she set out on her work Mama has had the support and friendship of Fylde coast printer, Mark Booth, who is the owner of Printwise, and his team.
They have helped every step of the way, printing all our brochures, flyers, tickets etc and always go the extra mile with excellent graphic design, by Andy Makin, and pull out all the stops to meet tight deadlines when necessary.
They have recently relocated to Poulton, and Mama and Papa were delighted to call in on them to see their new base and to have a cuppa and a chat.
They are great people, brilliant at what they do, and we have no hesitation in recommending them.
Thanks guys for being YOU and for the kindness you show to our kids.
You can find them at  Clarke St. Poulton Le Fylde FY6 8JW

Friday, 29 August 2014

Christmas Parcel Appeal

Today we are launching our Christmas Parcel Appeal.
Postage is the the only way we have of receiving the many items we need for our family, now that there are so very few tourists, specially from the UK,  travelling out to Watamu for their holidays.
Those who planned their visits would always bring so much for us, often  an extra case, in the way of clothes and other necessities for our children. Without these donations our stocks are quickly being depleted as we keep up with a kids who just keep on growing!.
We know that we had asked you, before this crisis arose, to cut back on parcels because of the import duty we were having to pay on everything received.  
Some of kindly continued to post things, paying the import duty as well as stomaching the high cost of postage.
The most recent parcels to arrive,  full of lovely things, have come from our friends Brenda Groves and Pauline Royle and will be kept for for Santa's storeroom
At this time our Parcel Appeal really is a case of needs,  must if our 84 children are to have a happy Christmas and we know that you will respond,as you always do, with love and generosity.
Mama has given a lot of thought to our Christmas list and is asking you to send items that are of practical and educational use to our children - the novelty of having something new to wear, of their own  that isn't a hand-me-down, never wears off. 
Even our smallest children love to parade around like fashion models!
An exercise book with a couple of HB pencils, a rubber and ruler makes a welcome gift; simple science experiments, make-and-do craft sets for boys and girls, softcover books (fact, fiction, sport); educational dvds for PC ( any subjects but especially science and French) or other learning aid.
Summer weight clothing (you should be able to pick up some bargains now) is required for particularly our older boys and girls where we have the greatest shortage, also for all other ages too. 
And that's the nice thing about finding a sales bargain for our family,  it doesn't matter about size as it's sure to fit someone!
Items most wanted include:
Trousers, shorts, cropped leggings (our teenage and pre-teen girls really love these), knickers, underpants, boys T-shirts and short-sleeved shirts, dresses. croc type shoes, starter bras,  girl tops and skirts,
Our children are always busy playing together, making their own entertainment, that they really do not need any more toys than we already have.
Every single item you send is greatly needed and will bring so much joy to a child on Christmas day.
Parcels should be posted to Sue Hayward's Happy House, PO Box 796, Watamu, Kenya, East Africa.
These are difficult times, and your love and kindness means so very, very much.
Thank you.
Help! Our charity is clicks away from being eligible to win a £1000 prize from JustGiving - but there's just six days left to qualify by getting 100 clicks on the "Care" button. Please click on this link and hit the CARE button at the top of the page. That's all there is to it! And please share with your friends.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Dancing divas

You dancing?
You asking?
It looks like our Esther is giving her big brother, David,  a runaround in the Happy House banda-turned-ballroom!
Maria, Diana and Lucinda
None of our kids ever gets tired of dancing and this week there's been even more dancing than ever as, with so many of our children away on visits to relatives, fun activities are high on the agenda for those staying at home.
Family life continues  with the older  ones enjoying helping around the house  while their younger brothers and sisters shake it all about on the dancefloor.
Your online shopping is bringing a bonus to the Happy House.
We have now raised  £283 in donations made by retailers, for YOUR online shopping.
 If you are shopping online with you can raise money for our Happy House whenever you shop almost 3000  stores, including Tesco, Argos and Marks&Spencer and Amazon,  by using the  fundraising website,
Every time you make a purchase, the retailer will make a donation. It may only be pennies, but they all add up to £s !
Even online grocery shopping ,holidays amd electrical equipment.  qualify for a donation.
Many high street names are now involved including Amazon, John Lewis, eBay and Tesco giving causes and supporters a great opportunity to raise funds.
So please  help the Happy House  by using  easyfundraising

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

School report: A new term beckons

Mr Alphan and Madam Russel bring you this week's report from Happy House School:
Our holiday club sessions came to an end last weekend after a happy and ordered programme of activities over two weeks.
The kids enjoyed the activities including swimming, playing football, volleyball and rounders together with their teachers.
Also the pupils, both the day children and home kids,  were looking forward to this week as a holiday as they prepare for the third term, which commences  September 1.
Before the break, a meeting took place with scholarship pupils and their parents or guardians to discuss and review their academic progress.
Uncle Billy read out a letter to them all from Mama Sue.
Now we teachers are busy scheming and preparing for next term's work.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Friends come to call

 It's just so nice for Mama and Papa to be seeing so many friends while they are here in the UK.
These visits really do make it much easier for them to cope with being so far away from the Happy House and the family they love.
Yesterday Fiona Lockyer, who lives in Sutton Coldfield, and her twin daughters Hebe and Imogen, who had been staying in Manchester for the weekend popped over to Blackpool for a day out with a call on Mama and Papa at the top of their list.
Fiona, who sponsors Baraka, and Hebe and Imogen, who are in the family of twins Jonathan and James, have visited Watamu several times and were eager to catch up on Happy House news and there's nothing Mama likes talk about more than her kids!
Fiona also brought over a cheque for £500, a donation from the charity fundraising at the Ramada Hotel, Sutton Coldfield, where she is general manager. The charity fund makes annual donations to their chosen local, national and international charities.
We are so grateful to everyone there for this very kind donation.
It was equally lovely to have a call from more good friends of the Happy House family, Jill
and Mick Armstrong.
Not only are they in the sponsor families of Mwende and Charity, they also pay an amount every month into the Happy House account to help with medical fees.
Mama says: " We met Jill and Mick lunch  one day and had a lovely catch up. I am not going to mention Mick falling into the canal whilst out on a bike ride!
"Jill and Mick very kindly gave us a generous donation towards our weekly shopping bill."
Donations like these - Jill and Mick paid their donation through JustGiving yielding an additional 25p for each pound in Gift Aid - are a godsend at a time when we are facing such a bleak time because tourism is as such a low ebb.
It was good news to hear from the general manager at Turtle Bay hotel, Damien Davies, that some tour operators are still operating (Hayes and Jarvis will be resuming package holidays in December) and the Kenya Government is underwriting travel insurance with AIG.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Home visits

It is the last week of the school holidays and some of our children set off on Saturday to visit relatives.
These "home" visits are important to our children to keep them in touch with those family who love them but who are in a position to care for them on a full-time basis.
Our kids look forward to these trips and while they are away we try to make some special times for their Happy House brothers and sisters who stay at home.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

About my friend - by Lucinda

Our junior blogger today is Lucinda who wants to tell us about her friend.
My friend is called Daniela.
She lives in Happy House.
She is in class six.
She is thirteen years old.
One day she helped me in maths.
She is a bright girl and works so hard in school.
Everyone in the school likes her very much, even the teachers.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Paul's challenge will feed our family - for seven weeks

 Our cycling hero Paul Lockyer rode home victorious to complete the Haute Route Dolomites Swiss Alps yesterday.
Six days after starting the race in Venice, the elated finishers took part in a triumphant parade through Geneva,
It's been a gruelling challenge, which organisers  say has been one of the toughest events since the Haute Route Alps began in 2011.
Severe, unseasonable weather conditions made conquering the mighty giant cols of the Dolomites and Swiss Alps a mammoth task.
 For some riders, the challenge against the elements and the clock proved too much and 19% of the peloton failed to finish within the set stage cut-off times. This in no way undermines the accomplishment of covering 993km of riding, climbing 20,250m of ascent and 17 mythical cols including the likes of the Passo do Gavia, Stelvio, Oberalppass and Furkapass, all ridden over the last seven days, since the 410 riders representing 40 nationalities, departed Venice last Saturday.
And Paul's incredible achievement has raised £2,396 for our Happy House family - enough to  cover our weekly shopping bill for food and household staples for seven weeks.
This is a huge boost to our family, coming at such a worrying time when our resources are being stretched to the limit.
With so few tourists visiting because of travel advisories issued by the UK and other countries, our whole community is suffering.
We have to find ways of making up for all holidaymakers bring to our family - clothes and necessities; educational supplies; donations and sponsorships and the groceries they bring us.  
''Paul's achievement is fantastic. He must be so proud of himself for completing the Haute Route," said Mama.
"Our weekly shopping bill, for our family of 85 growing kids, works out at £350 and knowing that is covered for seven weeks is so appreciated.
" Our children love it when visitors bring us groceries.
"Every week, on a Thursday,  when our shopping arrives everyone wants to help unload it. 
"Even little Esther likes to help  even if a toilet roll is all she can manage to carry!''
Our thanks ,Paul ,for all you have done, for your enthusiasm, determination and generosity, and a very big thank you also, to your friends, family and colleagues for their donations.
If you would like to add to Paul's total you can make a donation online at

Friday, 22 August 2014

Such a special evening

 What a wonderful night it was for the Happy House when the lovely Caroline Bramhall invited us to meet old friends and new at Grace&Favour and the Sewing Sanctuary, Thornton.
Mama Sue and Papa Dave went along with Auntie Libby .
Mama told, in her inspiring way, of her journey to the Happy House and the wonderful family she has created there,and Auntie Libby explained how she had become involved and tugged heartstrings with some of the stories of our children.
Caroline and her team became involved with Happy House when we were asked if we could make use of dresses being made at a charity workshop at the Sewing Sanctuary for Dress A Girl Around the World, this was later followed up with a workshop to make shorts for our boys.
And how delighted they were to see pictures of the latest batch to reach our family, kindly delivered by Chris O'Hare.
Sewing Sanctuary Junior Ambassador, Megan Holman, was over the moon with the picture of our David wearing shorts she had made that day in May, and Caroline's partner, Phil Wolstencroft, was also delighted to see Francis in the shorts produced in his sewing debut!
There was a great interest from everyone who attended and donations in our collection box totalled £79,  plus £80 from sales of Happy House bags on the night, by Caroline's daughter Hayley Anderton, and in the shop prior to the event,  
We look forward to welcoming some of those who attended to our family as sponsors and appreciate the kindness of those who are taking us to others by arranging talks etc.
Thank you to everyone who attended and special thanks to Caroline (pictured above with Mama and Auntie LIbby) and her team.
*Happy House bags, £5, are still available at Grace&Favour, Marsh Mill Village, Thornton, or online  (plus 75p UK post and packaging) please go

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Mama's news

Last week I went to see Dr Danwata my oncologist for a check up, which was really overdue.
 He arranged for me to have a mammogram and a bone density scan.
It was strange to be back in his office I felt rather nervous as I had, after all, received the terrible news that I have breast cancer in that same office. 
As always Dr Danwata made Dave and I feel so at ease and assured us the checks were purely routine.
I see him again on the  September 8.
 Dr Danwata is Nigerian and once told us about how he had originated from very humble beginnings and how family friends and neighbours had put together to give this very bright little boy an education. We explained about our ever growing family and he said. ‘An education is the best gift that can ever be given to a child. Once it is inside no one can ever take it away.’
 During the time I was having my treatment he kept me focused and positive, he was truly amazing in his own quiet positive way.
This is why when I returned to Kenya, fit and well, I knew I still had so much to do. We decided to start a  Scholarship Scheme, for children who had no chance of every completing their education. In honour of Dr Danwata I decided to call it the Dr Danwata Scholarship Scheme. He was truly delighted. 
We are now arranging an awareness evening at Preston Hospital. We desperately need more funds and sponsors for these young people, and also so we will be able to extend the scheme in Primary and on into Secondary education. There is also a page on our website regarding this very important scheme
 If you need further information regarding this very important scheme please do not hesitate to contact me  or Elizabeth Gomm our Volunteer Uk Coordinator and Trustee
 NEXT !!
 My lovely Dave and I are here in the UK at the moment  on advice from Steve Mannion, a top class orthopaedic surgeon.
He wanted to review an operation I had done in Mombasa on a leg I managed to fractured in five places.
Mr Mannion was the specialist who did revision surgery on my hip last year.
I saw him a few weeks ago and went back again this week. He is pleased with how the leg is healing. He had been concerned the plate that had been inserted in a Mombasa Hospital may not hold once I started weight bearing.
 If it had failed, there would have been nothing they could do in Mombasa, and it would be impossible for me to then return to the UK. Thankfully it seems to be doing so.
 I am swimming most days to strengthen the muscles and next week I will need more x-rays and start physiotherapy.
 At first it was thought I would need to be here for six months, such a long time for us to be away from our beautiful children, and a long time for them to be without Mama and Papa. 
The good news this week, apart from the leg healing, is that we will probably be able to return home by the end of October. I have struggled with being away from the children, but I know Rose and Uncle Billy are doing a brilliant job of keeping everything together. We Skype most days and discuss everything. I write to the children and Billy reads it out at Kidz Club, we then connect up and the children sing for us..... yes, I cry every Tuesday afternoon!
 Thank you all for visiting us, emailing and just showing how much you care. This love has been greatly needed and truly appreciated.
 Love and best wishes,
 Mama Sue & The Lovely Papa Dave xx

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

School Report: Holiday happiness

  Mr Omoi and Madam Naomi bring us this week's School Report:
You never hear a Happy House kid moaning "I'm bored" ... they are just too busy for that!
Having a holiday club gives both our own family children, scholarship kids and day pupils a chance to meet up for fun and sport activities.
These include swimming, games, computer, storytelling, debate, reading and watching dvds,
It's also a chanceto look at subject areas where a child may need to improve and to set some activities that will help.
All the kids really want to do well and there's not a single complaint when someone suggests a maths activity. They jump in and get on with it wanting to be the best they can be.
It's just the same with every other subject too and the kids know when the new term beginning the extra concentration will give them a better start.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Surprise for Abdul

There was a surprise visitor for our Abdul Malik  at the weekend when Khadija who hosted his mum during her pregnancy and immediately after his  birth came to call.
Abdul was abandoned by his mum with Khadija. 
Abdul's father, a Congolese refugee, later turned up and wanted to take the baby but the Children's Office doubted that his ability to care for the baby and asked if we could take him into our family,
Khadija was pleased to see Abdul look so happy and well cared for.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Good friends gather round Mama and Papa

Mama and Papa are taking time to meet up with their many good friends while they are in the UK.
Mama is concentrating on building up strength in her fractured leg, working with Auntie Libby on finding new sources of fundraising,and enjoying the company of friends.
Terry and Wendy Burns, from Burnley, are among them.  Sue got to know Terry after he contacted her, before the Happy House was completed, to see whether he could help us by supplying furniture, much of it discard by Lancashire schools being refurbished, through the charity he found, Furniture for Education Worldwide.
Flashback to 2012
Two containers down the line, practically all the furniture in our Happy House and in our school has come through FEW, and Wendy and Terry have become firm friends.
Terry and Wendy have visited  Happy House twice, first for the opening and their second visit was Christmas 2012 when Terry played the role of Santa, with Wendy and their friend, Steve Durkin, as his two naughty elves.
Terry has made Mama and Papa a photo book of that very special Christmas and keeps a copy with him so that he can help us by telling his friends and contacts about the incredible work Mama and the Happy House are doing.
It's lovely now for Mama and Papa to be able to spend some time with Terry and Wendy and with the all the other friends who are so eager to see them.
An evening with the Happy House
There will be an evening with the Happy House is being hosted this Wednesday, August 20th, at Grace&Favour/Sewing Sanctuary, Marsh Mill Village, Thornton, at 6.30pm. 
Please come along to hear Mama Sue and Auntie Libby talk about the family.It will be a lovely evening hosted by the lovely Caroline Bramhall and her team. 6.30pm. 
Tickets £2 from 01253 365510

Sunday, 17 August 2014

About our teachers - by Shakila

Today, Shakila, is our junior blogger:
In Happy House  we have the best teachers.
If you do not understand anything  youask them and they help you.
In Class Five we have several teachers who teach us several subjects.
Like Teacher Milka teaches us science,  Teacher Joy teaches us English
and English is the best subject
I like Mr Alphan he teaches us maths and Mr Isaac teaches us CRE.
Enjoy my blog and have a nice day.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Going Dutch

Happy House trio Musyoka, Francis and Mwende have sponsors from the same family.
Sheila and Michael Dickinson, from Cleveleys, Lancashire, are in Francis' sponsor family, while their son Andrew and his wife,Amy, who live in London,  are in Musyoka's family, while their daughter, Anna Collinge and her family are in Mwende's sponsor family.
Sheila and Michael have been visiting Anna in Amsterdam and while they were there Sheila and her grandchildren sent  a postcard and miniature clogs to their three Happy House friends.
They were absolutely thrilled to receive this lovely picture and a thank you from Musyoka, Francis and Mwende.
If you are on holiday this summer please send a postcard to your sponsor child, it really does mean a lot.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Cycling epic gets underway

Good luck to adventurer Paul Lockyer whose extreme cycling challenge, the Haute Route Dolomites, starts today with a gentle parade around Venice.
Happy House cyclists
The parade, for tourists and publicity,  will take riders across the only road bridge into Venice, and is a prelude to  the tough days ahead - with the  first of the seven-day mountain stage marathon starting tomorrow morning.
Paul, whose sisters, Hebe and Imogen sponsor Happy House twins, James and Jonathan,  has put in months of training for Haute Route Dolomites, a  900km timed bike race covering over 17 mountain passes and 19000 metres, from Venice to Geneva.
And his motivation is  to bring in vitally needed funds for Happy House.
Paul says:"Heartfelt thanks to everyone who has made a donation to the Children of Watamu.
 You’ve helped raise more than £2,000 in less than two weeks with more coming in every day - an amazing sum of money!"
We would like to add our thanks to Paul for making this epic effort and to all those who are supporting him, and our family, with their generous donations.
Safe travel, Paul.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Top job, boys!

Fresh loamy soil dug out when sinking a well on the plot of land we have earmarked for our secondary school has been imported to the nearby Happy House to give a new lease of life to the inner courtyard.
And our older boys, Sifa and Evans, were only too happy to help the gardeners by bagging up the soil and with loading and unloading.
Thanks lads, you've done a top job - your little brothers and sisters definitely appove!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

School Report: Taking in history

 Teacher, Mr Alphan, brings us this week's School Report with exciting news about the last week of term.
Learning about the history and heritage of their country is very important in Happy House School.
Our upper primary children enjoyed an educational trip to Fort Jesus in Mombasa - a fort built by the Portugese in the 16th century, where the children learnt a great deal about their history and also about the first European to visit the Kenyan coast, Portugese explorer Vasco Da Gama.
They heard about the pillar, made of marble, Da Gama had constructed in Malindi to commemorate the treaty between his country and Malindi.
The children admired the beautiful architecture of the Fort which, from the air, has the shape of a man.
The tour guide led us through the various sites in the Fort after giving us a brief history of the Fort.
Last week we ended our 13 week term ,in which everything has been good and in order, with our closing day ceremony.
We had entertainment from different groups starting from baby class and other activities which involved pupils from different classes, with trophies being awarded to the two best primary classes.
The best class in the lower primary was class one and in upper primary class four. 
Later, the parents and the pupils received the files and report books from the respective class teachers.
The ceremony end with prayer led by one of our parent.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Talking exams with Mama ...via Skype

Now Mama has had a chance to study the end of term examination results for all our Happy House kids and Dr Danwata Scholarship students, it's time to talk them over with the children.
So with Mama and Papa here in the UK, Skype comes into play to keep them in constant touch with home.
Whether it is to talk to all the family, or for management and staff meetings or for individual conversations it provides face to face contact every day.
For the children to be able to talk one-to-one with their Mama is both exciting and reassuring and yesterday, Uncle Billy tells us all the primary children, family and scholarship, were thrilled when they were told Mama would be be talking to each one of them about their results and their progress.
They took turns to go into the office one-by-one for their chat with Mama, while the others waited happily in the reception area.
Uncle Billy said:"Everyone enjoys talking about their exam results with Mama - this time thanks to Skype."

Monday, 11 August 2014

Party time for Mama and Papa

Steph and Theo with Mama and Papa
Our Happy House family  goes way beyond Watamu as it includes all the lovely friends who do so much to help us in so many ways.

Proud dad Gav
Mama Sue and Papa Dave are  much loved wherever they go and so it was a real pleasure for them to be at the first birthday party for Theo, son of Steph Hill and Gavin Kelly.
Steph first got in touch with Sue back in 2009 when she offered to do a bungee jump, along with her sister Lynsey, off Salford Quays in Manchester.
That was her Happy House fundraising debut, since then she has done much more, always supported by her mum, Bev Higham, and all her family.
Steph is in Lily's sponsor family  (she's been out to Happy House to visit twice) and Theo will grow up knowing and loving the little girl who Steph calls her "Kenyan Princess."
Theo had a lovely party with family and friends, with lots of  presents and a fab cake.
Libby took the opportunity to snap a picture of our birthday boy and his mum with her Happy House bag to add to his birthday album!
Happy birthday, Theo, from Lily and all your friends at the Happy House.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

An act of kindness - by Evans

A chance find brought us a new member of the family as our junior blogger, Evans, writes:
We are blessed to have a tortoise. The tortoise was collected by one of the aunties called Aunt Rose.
She was walking to the Happy House, as she was coming she saw the tortoise crossing the road. She thought that it would be kind to take the tortoise to the Happy House, because it was crossing the road. Those who are passing with vehicles could run over the tortoise and they could kill it which is not being kind. 
But now it was brought at home and we are taking care of it.
We make sure that it has food, we give it pawpaws and greens, it’s too tiny but we know with time it will grow big.
We love it and we will be happy if we see it growing.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Pets on mend after trip to vet

 Our Happy House pets are very much a part of our family and loved by all the kids.
Having our young dogs, Big Al and Polly, and puss cat, Happy, brings everyone so much pleasure as do our donkeys, Mary and Joseph.
With their four-legged friends, our kids learn how to treat animals with love and respect.
Responsible pet ownership comes at a cost and this week we have paid a vet bill amounting to £135 to have Big Al, Polly and Happy neutered.
Uncle Billy said: "Happy is ok ,big Al is fully recovered,it's only our poor Polly who is feeling rotten !
" All in all we can be sure she'll be fine in no time "
Top picture: Francis and Lily with our boy cat Happy and right: Gate-man, Uncle Douglas, with Alex, Lily, Linus and Katana