Friday, 1 January 2016

Looking back at 2015

Today, is the start of another year, and who know what it will hold for our Happy House?
Our work grows, changes and develops just as our children do. But one thing you can be sure of is that Mama and her team will take it forward in the very best interests of those who matter most, the children in need.
We start 2016, with hope in our hearts, by looking back on a few snapshots from 2015.
Thanks to your amazing support we opened our relocated kindergarten on a new site a short walk away from Happy House
We spring a surprise party for our much loved Uncle Billy for his 40th birthday.
Former England player Trevor Sinclair chooses Happy house as his charity when he appears on BBC1 Celebrity Pointless.
The new primary school opens on the new site, again thanks to everyone who helped to make it possible. The kids love going out to school every day.
It’s five years since the arrival of our very first Happy House kid, a little boy called Benedict who had been orphaned a few months earlier.  Once his extended family was able to support him he returned to them but still attends our school.
Mama Sue is invited to speak about her work at the opening of new rescue centre near Kikambala.

The Happy House celebrates its fifth anniversary and there is much laughter as the kids spot themselves as they watch a slide show looking back. It is also a time to reflect on the difference made to so many lives thanks to Mama's determination and dedication and the constant love and support she receives from Papa.
Abdulmalik, just walking, starts school, refusing to stay at home when his chums go off to class!
Rooms, formerly used as classrooms , open as bedrooms for our older children making space to take more children in need.
Papa Dave's birthday is a cause of great celebration Work starts on phase one of the secondary school building a block to house library, computer room, office and science lab on the school site. Starting the build now, whilst so many people in our community are out of work, means that we are providing work for some, at least, and they will be able to feed their families.
An appeal for copy crocs for our kids results in a mountain of footwear.
Papa is a real hit with our older children in school when he gives them a lesson about mining, talking from his own experience as a coal miner when he was a young man.
With our children walking to school now, raincoats are in short supply as the rains do theirworst. But not for long thanks, again, to our friends.
Our annual celebration of life honours the special people who may no longer be with us but who remain always in our hearts. A special day for Mama, Papa our children and staff.
Saturday baking club is hugely popular, and volunteers Grace Dunbar and Natasha Wenman, help stir things up.
It’s all hands on deck as the library, on the new school site, gets ready to open.
Neema takes a tumble whilst playing a game and ends up with her broken arm in plaster!
Kindergarten kids sweep the board when they compete in the Gede Inter-schools music festival competition.
 Mama names our new arrival, an abandoned baby girl, Elizabeth Anne as a tribute to charity trustee and UK organiser, Elizabeth Gomm. Her late sisterto whom she was so close was called Anne.
The local community continues to suffer much hardship with many out of work because of the decline in tourism over 13 months, a consequence of  several world Governments advising against travel, and Mama keeps tight constraints on our budget to keep meeting rising costs.
Happy House once again provides shelter in storm of family crisis. Baby Lamek  is taken into our care when his mum is unable to look after him,  but returns to his grandmother, a week later, after she travels hundreds of miles to take custody of him.
With our secondary school build at a standstill because of funding, we launch our Building a Bright Future Appeal to raise £25,000 to finish, furnish and open it by January 2016.
There’s a big welcome for Elizabeth Gomm, Auntie Libz  to our family, when she arrives back in Kenya.
Our kids enjoy taking part in a beach clean-
up operation.
Building work resumes on the secondary school as our appeal raises its first £5000.
A room awards scheme is introduced as an incentive for older children to keep their rooms spick and span.
The tables turn on Mama ( the master of surprises) when the staff and children organise a surprise party for her birthday.
We believe in children’s homes sharing strengths and are delighted to host training preparation sessions for the homes in Watamu, Kilifi and Malindi   selected to take part in the the Association of Charitable Children's Institutions of  Kenya a baseline survey aimed at “Enhancing Protection and Care for Children in Need of Care and Protection”.
Our Building a Bright Future Appeal reaches £17,000 as friends around the world rally to support us in so many ways.
There’s history in the making in our primary school as the first Class Eight students sit for exams for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.
And more history is made at tHappy House as we host a wedding. Our Aunty Velma marries Cleophas with all our children playing their part!
At the end of year Closing Day, our KG children graduate from kindergarten to primary school.
Many children leave for home visits, extended this time to give them Christmas with relatives, where possible.
There’s joy for families as a number of children, some our care since our earliest days, as changes their fortunes means they are now able to take their children home to live. Mama and Papa,while delighted for the children, miss them so.
Christmas week is a time of Santa and celebrations, but YOU, our supporters, deliver the best gift of all when our Building a Bright Future Appeal hits £25,000 – ensuring all the costs of building and opening are covered.  It will open on January 5.

We wish you, our wonderful friends, a happy, healthy, peaceful and loving 2016, with love from Mama, Papa and the Happy House family xxx


The countdown to our Secondary School opening ticks off another day.
The desks, beautifully made by joiner Charo and his helpers, are now in place ready for the first students.