Saturday, 15 August 2015

A privilege to volunteer at Happy House

A  month volunteering at the Happy House was everything Grace Dunbar had hoped for.
Back home in Wantage, Grace reflects on her experience:
"My grandparents, uncle and sister are all sponsors of children at the Happy House.
 I have visited twice before while on holiday and was inspired to go back and spend some time volunteering. 
I planned my trip for June 2014 but unfortunately my trip was cancelled as the Foreign Office advised against travel.  However, I was determined to get there this year and made the decision to go ahead and book again for a month.
I definitely made the right decision as I had the most amazing experience and it was so worthwhile to spend time at the Happy House.
Sue and Dave were waiting when I arrived, it was great to see them after so long and I couldn’t wait to get to the Happy House to see all of the children!
I made it there in the afternoon just in time for Kidz Club and had a wonderful greeting from all the kids.  
The older ones all jumping up to come and say hello while the younger kids were all singing songs and dancing.  I was made to feel very welcome!
I spent a lot of time at the school while I was volunteering, helping the children with their English, mainly with their pronunciation of words and phrases and their grammar.  You could see just how much they wanted to learn, asking me questions and interacting all the time.
My volunteering also involved helping to prepare the lunches to take to school and coming back to do the washing up.  Washing up for all the kids is a huge task!  I also helped in the garden, picking the tomatoes and spinach to be used in the lunches and dinners.  And helping the Aunties to feed and wash the babies.
At the end of the school day I would collect the children from school with the Aunties and walk home with them.  We would then have some time to play outside before shower time and dinner.  We’d play wheelbarrow races, frisbee, football and many other games!  The kids also loved playing on the tyre swings, all shouting for me to push them higher!
The weekends were full of activities and games; it was nice to spend some time with them while they werent at school.  I especially enjoyed baking with the older children on Saturday mornings – they make a great fruit crumble!
I was very lucky to be there for two new arrivals, baby Elizabeth-Anne,who was then six weeks, and newborn Nicholas. 
 It was amazing to see how welcoming the children are to their new family members, singing songs and dancing while Mama Sue brought them home.
The kids put on a special Kidz Club on the Saturday before I left; it was lovely to join in on the activities they had planned; netball, volleyball, tug of war and many more!  All of the aunties and teachers also got involved and gave us a great send off!
After a tearful goodbye to all my friends at the Happy House I am now home, feeling very lucky and privileged to have had that experience and to have spent the time with the wonderful Happy House family. 
I will definitely be visiting again as soon as I can and would encourage anyone to visit if they have the opportunity!  Thank you to everyone who made my experience happen!"

Building a Bright Future

The brilliant staff and students at St Aidan's CE School, Preesall, Lancashire, raised
£70 with a cake bake at the end of term which will help us to finish our secondary school and build a bright future for kids who do not have all the advantages of kids growing up in the more developed world.
Education should be the right of every child. Sadly, it is not.
YOU can make a donation this weekend, or plan your own cake bake for friends or colleagues, and help our Happy House give the kids in our picture, and others like them, a chance to complete their schooling.
Thank you.
To donate go to: