Family, home, love and education … Mama Sue and our Happy House are there for any child in need, for as long as they need us.
This may be for years, or just a matter of weeks, we never know.
Most of our children have known relatives and Uncle Billy and Uncle Ronnie, our social workers, work hard to keep in touch. Many relatives visit as often as they can.
So when their fortunes take a turn for the better, it is right for a child to be restored to their family and to continue their childhood with their parents or other blood relatives.
Over the last few weeks a number of children, some who have been with us since our earliest days, have returned to live with their families. And each one has settled and is happy.
These are new beginnings for each child, and a time of great joy and happiness for their relatives who have worked hard to make this possible. A Christmas blessing indeed.
For Mama and Papa it has been heart-wrenching to see chicks they have nurtured and loved fly the nest.
But Mama only ever acts in the best interest of a child. Her children are her driving force, and she says she knows deep in her heart that this is the right decision.
Our lovely, mischievous Linus who joined our family when he was just 11 months old, has gone home to live with his mum and is back with his sister Millie.
His mum’s life is vastly different from the time when, newly widowed, she was in a desperate situation and had to put both her youngest children in care. As soon as she was in a position to support Millie she came for her, and has continued to strive to get to a point where she could also be permanently reunited with her little boy. This has always been her goal.
She now has a good job, lives in her own house and is able to support and educate Linus. It is only right that he should grow up with his own mum and family.
They are now happily together again and living in Nairobi
Hassan and Maria, again some of the first in our family, are now growing up with their aunt.
Their aunt, who they have visited on home visits and who has always kept in touch, is now able to take them into her home and family and to support and educate them.
They are happily settled and enjoying life with their own family.
Dennis received regular visits from his mum and his stepdad. They have moved to a new area, many miles away. This made visits difficult and Dennis was keen to go with them.
He is now 18 and an adult (we helped him through the application procedure for his identity card) and as such cannot remain in childcare.
He is intelligent enough to make his own decisions and this is what he has done.
His family’s new situation means his step-father is in a good position to support his family financially, and to ensure that Dennis can continue his education through secondary school and has this is place.
Life now is very different for his father from the time Alex came to us. He was in a desperate situation, having been left with a small child raise on his own, which had led him into trouble.
He has now paid the price for this actions and has rebuilt his life. He has a good and secure job, a home and support from his sisters who really want to share in helping him to raise and educate Alex.
Lucinda’s family have, thankfully, become much more involved in her life over the last year and she has now gone to live with her two sisters, aged 13 and 10, at their grandparents home.
She has only ever wanted to be with her sisters.
Lucinda’s grandparents kept her homecoming as a huge surprise for the younger children, so it was a very joyful reunion indeed.
They are enrolling her in a local school where she will take her Year 8 exam.
Lucinda has always struggled with being apart from her sisters.
We have helped her to grow in confidence, raised her self-esteem and taught her so many valuable skills. Now, with her grandparents and hers sisters, she is just so happy.
The teenage mum who came to us when she was six months pregnant is now starting to rebuild her life with her mum.
They have been happily reunited and she no longer needs the support of our Happy House. Her baby, Nicolas, however will remain within our loving family until such a time she wishes and is able to look after him. He is continuing to thrive.
We have been a shelter in a storm for this girl, but she needs to be with her mum who is now in a position to support and care for her and to ensure her safety and education.
|Mama and Linus|
“I am finding it hard to let them go, it’s so different without them. Linus was my little boy, always in my office after school. I miss him, and all of them. So does Papa. Hassan was his buddy, always by his side.
“We are going back to see them this week and Papa is coming too so he can see how Hassan has settled.
“We have been bridge over troubled waters for these children. They will always be Happy House kids and we will always be here for them should they need us.
“The Happy House is for children in need, and we cannot keep children here who no longer need our support and who have families who are able, willing, and really want to look after them.
“These children are going out to their communities strong, healthy and confident and with all the skills we have taught them.
“They have aspirations and ambitions and the drive to achieve them.
“They will be real assets to their families and to their communities, because of all they have learnt at Happy House. You have helped to make this possible.
“If you have sent Christmas gifts, they will receive them and their savings accounts will remain there for them, building interest, until they are 18.
“There are so many changes, all at once, and however difficult change can be I know, deep in my heart, that these are changes for the good of the kids.”