Sunday, 31 July 2016

Now life is good for Emmaculate

Emmaculate's life would be very different without her free place scholarship to our school.
One of 11 children, she was destined to be a child bride for the dowry she would bring her impoverished familywhen an older sister took her in to keep her safe,
But with children of her own, she had no means of granting Emmaculate's one wish - to be in school.
Happy House gave her a chance when she joined our scholarship scheme in 2014. She passed her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in 2015 and is now in the first of four years in our secondary school.
One day, Emmaculate hopes to become a doctor.
Today she tells us about Form 1:
"Hello my name is Emmaculate Neema  am very glad to be in form one.
In Form One we are more than 20 students.
Out of these some are talented in games while others are talented in singing.  There are many musical activities we enjoy with the instruments we have - including drums, guitars and keyboards.
We are all good in accademics and we hope that we are going to pass our exam, the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, and get good grades at the when we reach the end of form four   we are all looking towards it."
We desperately need sponsors for young people on our scholarship scheme,  like Emmaculate. £20 a month will sponsor a scholarship student and give them all they need to build a brighter future..
Please email elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net for details.


Saturday, 30 July 2016

Abu is six

Sensational six, that's our birthday boy Abu.
Abu celebrated his birthday with his brothers and sisters at Happy House Kidz Club this week, when everyone was thrilled to have Mama and Papa back home after their break in the UK.
It was a lively get together and  Abu received his gift bag to birthday greetings and songs from all the family.
Happy birthday Abu.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Cornish pasties come to Kenya!

Only the better off have ovens in Kenya, most people cook on an open fire or a single/double hob if they are lucky enough to have access to electricity.
So pastry is not something our cooks Esther and  Phylis know anything about.
This week, Mama Sue showed them how to make shortcrust pastry.
Then, under Mama's guidance they, made a Kenyan version of Cornish pasties with filling made from veggie mince, carrots, oinions and potato.
Phylis and Esther were delighted with their first efforts and declared the pasties "delicious".
Now they will be added to the ever-increasing repertoire of dishes they cook up for our kids.
And they are certain to be a big hit.
Mama said if anyone travelling to Watamu this summer could pop some Bisto powder and Oxo cubes into their luggage for Happy House, they would be very grateful!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Donation towards shopping bill

 Keeping  a family as big as our own is a very expensive undertaking.
There are three nutrtious meals a day for the 80 children living at Happy House plus lunch and breakfast for another 80 children and young people coming into to school on our free place Dr Danwata Scholarship Scheme.
These kids are performing so much better in school because, since launching our breakfast club, they are starting the day with food in their tummies
Add to this  healthy snacks and that tots up to thousands of servings every week.
Then factor in the washing powder, nappies, cleaning materials, shoe polish and other items essential to looking after our home, school and family.
So Mama Sue was delighted when Terry Burns, chairman of Burnley based charity Furniture for Education Worldwide, gave her a donation of £500 from the charity to use towards our household bill.
Thank you Terry and FEW for your donation it is nuch needed and very much appreciated.
Our pictures show some of the items bought.

Donation towards shopping bill

 Keeping  a family as big as our own is a very expensive undertaking.
There are three nutrtious meals a day for the 80 children living at Happy House plus lunch and breakfast for another 80 children and young people coming into to school on our free place Dr Danwata Scholarship Scheme.
These kids are performing so much better in school because, since launching our breakfast club, they are starting the day with food in their tummies
Add to this  healthy snacks and that tots up to thousands of servings every week.
Then factor in the washing powder, nappies, cleaning materials, shoe polish and other items essential to looking after our home, school and family.
So Mama Sue was delighted when Terry Burns, chairman of Burnley based charity Furniture for Education Worldwide, gave her a donation of £500 from the charity to use towards our household bill.
Thank you Terry and FEW for your donation it is nuch needed and very much appreciated.
Our pictures show some of the items bought.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

School Report: Visit from the top

The week started with everyone arriving on time and looking clean and smart ready for the week ahead, writes teacher Mr Hamisi.
We were happy to welcome officials from the eduication office who were given a tour of the school ny headteacher, Md Milka.
They congratulated Happy House on an impressive performance which put the school in the top four in the district and appreciated the teachers at all levels, from kindergarten to secondary school, on the good work they are doing to help make this possible.
We thanked our guests for coming to visit and for their encouraging words. We will strive to take first place next time round.
Teachers are now taking pupils through revision for the end of erm exams with special emphasis on any weak areas they may have.
The kids are so keen to succeed they are not only working hard in class they are also chasing teachers in break time asking questions on any points they may feel they need clarification.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Flying high

 New flags are flying high at Happy House school.
With the old flags getting ragged from years of use and looking past their best, the children asked Mama if she could bring new Kenya and Union flags back with her from the UK.
After searching web for flags we could afford, Mama phoned United Flags and Flagstaffs in Manchester. 
After explaining why she needed them, Mike Connor gave her the very best deal he could and ensured they were sent straight away so she would be sure of having them to take home. 
The kidsand teachers were thrilled when she took the flags into school where they will be raised by the scouts at assembly every Monday and lowered on a Friday when school closes for the weekend.
Thank you to Mike and United Flags and Flagstaffs for helping to keep our flags up to standard!
For all National Flags, Corporate Flags, Feather Flags, Banners, Buntings, Exhibition Material, Flagpoles etc. See our web page www.unitedflags.co.uk


Monday, 25 July 2016

Weekend fun

 Our kids love Saturday mornings which are a mix of work and play.
They enjoy brushing up on their spellings and their tables knowimg that they atre the foundation for their work in maths and English.
There is time to sit and chat with Mama and Papa, to tell them their news, to show off their talents or to recite their tables or a new poem or song,
Then they also have time  for playing games of all kinds, dancing and just chilling out in the playground.
By lunchtime they've all worked up an appetite for their pizza treat and on Saturday afteroon and on Sunday they can just do their own thing, with some attending church and helping out around the house and garden if they wish to,
Lovely times, for lovely kids.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Applying pressure, by Samson

Before getting a place on our scholarship scheme this year, Samson, 19, was trying to earn enough to pay his way through Government school.
Even though these schools are supposed to be free, there are many financial demands made of parents/guardians. 
Samson, who lives in poverty with an uncle, could not raise enough and was frequently excluded - no money, no school.
Now he is making up for lost time, working hard, and enjoying his first year in secondary school. Here he tells us about his favourite subject:
The subject which I enjoy most is physic and I have found that the topic I have enjoyed most, up to now, is pressure.
In this unit we learn things which happen in really life situations.
The topic is easily understood since, in many cases, we can apply to things in our daily life.
 Besides being the easiest subject, the subject has a lot of career opportunities which one can engage after learning the subject well.
 I will put in more and more effort and achieve my dream in future.    
 My ambition is to be a doctor.  
We are desperate for sponsors for scholarship kids like Samson.
It costs £20 a month to support a youngster giving them the priceless gift of education.
They receive all their schooling, books, uniform shoes, PE kit, plus two nutritious main meals (breakfast and lunch) ad snacks six days a week.
 We also give the boys and girls toiletries and shoe polish and brush, solar powered lamps,  and our older kids get deodorants and sanitary pads. 
 We do all we can to lift their aspirations and presonal esteem and to help them break free from the cycle of poverty into which they were born.
If you would like to sponsor a scholarship kid please email: elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net for details.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

New stamping ground

The post office plays such a part in all our lives, it's important for children to understand what it does and how it works.
So after learning about the post office in lessons,   a party from  Class three at Happy House School went to visit Watamu Post Office -  which is where all the letters, postcards and parcels you send to your sponsor kids and our family arrive.
They were shown round every department and given a detailed insight into what staff do and how mail is sorted and delivered, plus the many other transactions carried out at the counter.
It was a fascinating and enlightening visit for the kid who throughly enjoyed themselves stamping letters and peeping into PO boxes
Teacher Md Russell said the visit had brought the topic to life for her students who were chattering about it all the way back and looking forward to discussing and writing about it when they were back in class

Friday, 22 July 2016

Home again

Hello Mama, hello Papa!
There were greetings and goodwishe, clapping and cheering when Mama and Papa arrived back home to the Happy House.
Our school had an early finish on Wednesday so everyone could be there to give them the welcome they deserve.
The children put on a show of song and dance, with a special song for Mama and Papa performed by Nasri - a scholarship student who has a bright future because he now has an education at Happy House, after missing so much schooling because of the dire constraints of poverty.
And of course, there was cake -wth enough for all our eager little mouths and then a chance to ctach up and share news.


  




And for those who couldn't access the video of Mama on our blog on Monday, please follow this link. it is now available on YouTube.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FIjUPaqTKo


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Caring cards and visitors welcomed

 With lots of schools breaking up for summer this weekend, many of you will be heading off on  holiday or on some exciting days out.
Please don't forget to send your Happy House sponsor child a postcard so they can share in your adventures.
We've said it before, but a simple postcard really does mean the world.
Our address is Sue Hayward's Happy House, PO Box 796, Watamu, Kenya
Pictured are: Top, Charity, Brian and Lovinne with cards from Brenda Groves while she was on holiday in Greece  and Hussein (right)  with his card from Mike, Sheila Dickinson and  Lesley (left) with his card from Andrew Dickinson from Scotland.

Welcome visitors
We were delighted to have a visit recently from The Tira Tamati and Mark Dickenson who came to take a look around our Happy House and school. They were met byAuntie Velma and Auntie Lydia.
Thank you for coming to see us, we can never have too many friends.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

School Report: A look at lessons

Kids in Class Eight are working hard towards the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams which take place in November.
This week they have been taking  the series seven exam ifrom publishers Jesma, who specialise in exam boosters and revision.
Md Neema says: We are hoping they will perform well because they are hardworking. 
They always promise to break the record set by the previous class last year and, with hard work,  they can.
 In secondary school form ones were in the science laboratory for their chemistry lesson  and are enjoyingtaking part and observing experiments. 
Volunteer, Auntie Coral,  is very helpful especially in the kindergarten section where she does lots of storytelling and  teaches new songs to help pupils to enhance their language development. 

After taking lunch some of the kids watch the news to keep them in touch with wjat is going on in Kenya and the wider world and to increase their general knowledge.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Hurray for Happy House

Happy House students were guests of nearby school Miki Amani Centre for a sporting exchange programme.
The activities centred on football and by the end of the match, Happy House triumphed three goals to nil.
There was much cheering and celebrations for Happy House with everyone chorusing Hurray for Happy House, Mama and the Happy House family,


Monday, 18 July 2016

Mama and Papa head home

After a month in the UK, Mama and Papa start their journey back to Kenya today.
They came because Papa needed  surgery, as Mama explains in our video,  and now he is well on the mend and they are both looking forward to getting back to their Happy House family
The kid sare bubbling with excitement at the prospect of having their Mama and Papa back where they belong.
Their four weeks here has given them both a chance to have some down time and to recharge their batteries.
We are so pleased that Papa is doing well and wish he and Mama a safe and uneventful journey home. 

video

Sunday, 17 July 2016

My hope, my dream, by Moses

Our scholarship students come to Happy House with hopes and ambitions.
After enduring weeks, sometimes months, excluded from their previous schools because their parents or guardians did not have any money to pay fees, their schooling is secure - provided they work hard.
Moses is a high achiever who is intent on reaching for the stars,
Here he tells us about his ambition.
"Hi, I am Moses Cosmas.
"I would like to tell you about my  future career and here are my hopes for it.
 As a form one secondary student, I have hopes and dreams,.
" My dream is to be a doctor after my studies. I would like to prosper through this dream and help my entire family and other Kenyans too.
"I am going to explain my reasons as to why I would like to be a doctor and what inspires me,
" When I hear of people suffering from cancer it brings pity in my heart and as a doctorI would  treat them nicely.
" Cancer is disease that killed my lovely aunt when I was five yars old.  It really gives me a good feeling to think of being a doctor and being able to treat people suffering this terrible disease.
"I believe that God will help me to achieve my goal through the hard work I put into learning and the education Mama Sue is giving me at Happy House.
" I would like to ask for your encouragement to help me to my goal.
Thank you for your support."   
For £20 a month (65p a day) you can Give a Child a Chance.
Please sponsor a Happy House child today and Give a Child a Chance forever
To find out more go to: http://www.childrenofwatamu.net/school/scholarship-scheme
To set up your sponsorship online:
   

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Let's play, baby!

You think babies are fragile? 
Think again,
Our two Happy House tinies are real little toughies, 
The older kids love them to bits and it comes naturally to them to look after and include them in all they are doing,
So Elizabeth and Nicolas, both one, get loads of attention and are never short of playmates or adventure -  be that a chat and a cuddle, a swing or a walk!
Pictured top are Elizabeth and playmates and below Nico and friends.




Friday, 15 July 2016

Birthday greetings

Birthday girl Natasha Brutti was the centre of attention at this week's Kidz Club when, with all the family gathered, she received greetings and gifts.
At, Natasha's request Md Russell presented her gift bag to applause from the children who also sang the birthday song.
Due to late delivery,belated birthday greetings presented to Brian Hayward from his friends at Devonshire Primary Academy, Blackpool, to Baraka Kea from Judith and Lloyd Wray and to Farida from Jackie and Colin
Pictured: Top left: Brian; bottom left, Farida; centre, Brian; right Natasha with Md Russell.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

In loving memory of Pat

Pat
We are hugely grateful to the family of late Pat Ward for asking family and friends for donations to Happy House at her funeral, instead of sending flowers.
Pat's husband kindly asked daughter-in-law Joanne Ward to select a charity and as she and her husband, Pete, are long-time and wonderful supporters of our family, she chose our Happy House.
Every penny of the £272.16 ( £315.20 with gift aid) donated will go to making life better and brighter for the children in our care and those on scholarship in our school.
And what a every special tribute this will be to a lovely lady, so loved and missed by her family and friends.
We are looking forward to seeing Joanne, Peter and their two boys Dylan and Oscar  who will be travelling out to visit Happy House next month.
They are in the sponsor families of our own Oscar (Jo and Pete named their son after him) and baby Eve.
David, Esther and Amani
Joanne said: "I was given the utmost honour by my father in law to choose which charity should benefit from donations we received at the funeral and of course the Happy House was top of the list.
"Pete's mum, Pat, , was an avid supporter and loved hearing our stories of the Happy House.
"She gave me LOTS and LOTS to bring with us when we visit in August. She would have loved to have seen all the happy faces.
"She travelled to Kenya twice with us and would have loved to have visited again as it was a particular favourite.
" She would be proud to know that so much has been raised and how it will go towards changing so many little lives and her legacy will therefore live on and make the future better for so many."
We send Pat's husband, family and friends our deepest sympathy and our thanks for thinking of Happy House at this very sad time and our thanks to all who made donations.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

School Report: Clicking on to ICT

Mr Mramba brings us this week's report from our Happy House School.
Computer technology opens new windows on the world for our children.
And in Happy House school, where we are so lucky to have our own computer room, we have increased the number of computer lesson to give our children a head start..
And they are really enjoying the extra opportunity to learn all they can.
 Pupils across the school areon the toes to make sure that they improve in the end term exams. There is a good progress in performances in almost the classes.
Teachers  have also been ensuring that children can recite the Lord’s Prayer.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Visit from mum

There was a surprise visit for Nicolas when his mum came to call.
Teenage mum Mercy came into our temporary care when she was six months pregnant and received our support and help in the months leading up her giving birth last July.
She remained  with us until December when she went back to her mum, leaving Nicolas in our family.
Mercy is receiving support from sisters at a rescue centre near to her and she travelled to Happy House with one of the sisters after asking to visit her little boy.
This is a breakthrough and Uncle Billy said happily spent time together.
Mercy is now moving forward and wants to strengthen her bonds with Nicolas and we will do all we can to help make this happen.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Poster power

Educational posters really brighten our classrooms and teach our kids so much at at the same time.
And we can never have too many.
So we really appreciate the posters sent out by Paul Hatch and his mum Betty, who sponsor Salama.
They sent a variety of posters for the classrooms plus some football posters for the boys bedrooms.
The posters were presented to the students and teachers at Auntie Gussy's farewell party. Brian accepted the football posters for the boys!
The kids and teachers were delighted. Thank you Paul and Betty.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

My favourite subject by Gladys

Today scholarship student Gladys introduces herself:
My name is Gladys SidI. I am 14 years old.
I am in Form One at Happy House secondary school. My favourite subject is English.
I am loving it because it is a subject that touches me from deep in my heart.
I love myself since God had a reason for creating me.
I am not forgetting the ones who are caring for me like Mama and the teachers who are in the front line of caring about my future.
In my school we learn to accept ourselves, and others, the way we are and to always do our best.
We desperately need sponsors for ourscholarship children, including Gladys.

£20 a month - that's 65p a day -will sponsor a child,
Please will you sponsor a Happy House kid and Give a Child a Chance. 

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Our magic touches young hearts

 The stories of our children touched the hearts of students and staff at St Aidan's Church of England High School, Preesall, Lancashire, yesterday.
Elizabeth Gomm was welcomed into school to work with Year 8s  who were taking part in a personal development day.
Mrs Rossall and bakers
Working with different groups over five hour-long sessions, Elizabeth showed the children video and pictures as she told them the story of Happy House and of  our Mama Sue's foresight, vision and courage in creating an exceptional children's home and school which was giving children and young people from abject poverty or despair a chance to make something of their lives.
She emphasised the importance of school to our children of how having an education is valued by every child as it is their only road out of poverty.
Elizabeth told them the story of one of one young girl and asked them to imagine they were walking in her shoes on the tragic journey which led to her finding a  home and hope with our  family.
Her story included many of issues, some specific to girls, faced by so many unfortunate kids in Kenya.
The Year 8 students empathised with our children and asked, intelligent and thoughtful questions,
 They were also thrilled to hear about Linus, who was sponsored by St Aidan's K7 until December when he was able to go back to live with his mum near Nairobi, and of how he is doing in his new school.
They also heard a bit more about little Stephen, who is now sponsored by K7, and his sisters and of how Mama had enabled the children who were in our care for almost a year to go back to live with their mum, while remaining a part of the Happy House family with free places in school,
While Elizabeth, one of several guests  taking part in the development day, was working with different group of students, others from that year were making and baking biscuits with Mrs Joanne Rossall, to sell at break and at lunch to raise money for Happy House.
Their efforts raised £88.74p
Our thanks to Mrs Rossall, to head of year 8, Mr Paul Tyson, and to staff and students at St AIdan's for all they do to help our Happy House family.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Desks delight

 Pupils in school are excited to have new desks, made in our own workshop.
The the sturdy desks, which have plenty of room to store their books etc, replace the old metal-leg tables which have been in use since we opened the school and, secondhand when we got them, are now well past their best.
Secondary and primary classes will be the first to get replacement desks which have lift up lids and plenty of room to store their school books.
The best of the old individual desks will be moved into KG3 so the children, who were sitting in groups, will be more prepared for the transition to primary school in January.
The kids who already have new desks are so proud.  They have made their classrooms look smart, and the kids are keen to be just as smart, promising to work even harder than ever
Thank you to everyone who has made a donation to help buy a desks or chairs and a special mention to Peter Upton and students at Cheadle Hulme School, Cheshire, who raised so much money towards refurnishing our classrooms. 
We still have many more to make, plus replacing all the chairs, and they will come as and when funds allow.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Auntie Gussy says goodbye

Volunteer Gussy Bunbury is on her way back to the UK after working with our family for five months.
Sad though we were to say goodbye, we are thrilled that she is already planning to return in the autumn.
Photography graduate Gussy has been a huge help in our school assisting with computer studies and also taking some photography classes. 
But her biggest impact has been in the kindergarten where she has been using her experience of working in special needs schools to help bring on some of our younger kids who face their own challenges.
Auntie Gussy to the kids, she has made a huge difference to Ernest, Lesley and David whose language, communication and coordination skills are coming on in leaps and bounds.
At Kidz Club this week, there was a surprise party for Gussy with singing, dancing, juice and cake!
Head teacher, Md Milka presented Gussy with a certificate of appreciation.
Thank you Gussy for all the time, talent and friendship you have shared with our children.
 We wish you a safe journey home and look forward to seeing you again soon.