Sunday, 30 April 2017

Uncle Ronnie, by Natasha

Our social worker Uncle Ronnie has no secrets if this report by Natasha is anything to go by!
Uncle Ronnie lives in Watamu. He is 26 years old.
 He is a good man and good to everyone.
 He is as tall as a giraffe.
 He works at Happy House as our social worker. He goes to work at 7am
He has a house built of stones and cement and  painted white in colour. 
He respects everyone in the world.
He has a financee.
He likes going to church every Sunday with his family.
He is a clean and tidy man.
He likes watching movies and listening to music.
He likes eating bread and tea for breakfast and fish and rice for supper and lunch.
He also like pizza and milk.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Time to be a-maized!

 As the rainy season is about to begin, planting is in full swing.
Every spare piece of land in the garden will be given over to maize – the staple crop.
After preparing the soil and digging holes for planting, the maize seed was sown.

Now when the rain comes it will shoot up – almost as fast as our kids!

Friday, 28 April 2017

A maths plus

 Back to school next week, our kids will have a head start because of the effort they have put in to brush up on their tables in the holidays.
Mama believes that multiplication tables are a basic foundation for the future and places a great emphasis on ensuring that they are taught in as early as possible.

And knowing practice makes perfect, kids, teachers and volunteers work together to help the kids brush up on their skills – making it fun at the same time.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Fresh from the tree

There has been a bumper harvest of oranges at Happy House.
Since our garden is only in its seventh year of cultivation, having been scrubland for centuries on a foundation of coral, our growing brings some good results.
And with picking the oranges and Kidz Club coming on the same day, Mama distributed to them children.

Sweet and juicy, they went down a treat and have the added bonus of giving them a vitamin C boost!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Delivery brings smiles

There was a personal delivery for Baraka Francis when Lesley Pidcock brought him some gifts from a friend and neighbour, Kay Summers, who is in his sponsor family.
Baraka was thrilled with his trainers and the games she sent which he will share with his Happy House brothers.
She also sent some other lovely things for the family including some very trendy headbands for the girls, which they absolutely love.
Thank you Kay for making Baraka's day and for your kindness to our family.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Hamley says Hello, I've come to stay!

A bear called Hamley has joined our family.
He was brought along by his cousin Barnaby who is the infant class bear in a school in Taif, Saudi Arabia.
They hitched a ride with Lesley Pidcock, who is a teaching assistant in Taif, and her husband Alan when they were coming to Happy House.
Barnaby can only talk to adults and  he is always on the look out for children who behave well, use their polite words and do good work.
When they don't he gets sad. When they do he might ask them to give him a hug,
If a child is sad, he can listen and help to make them feel better.
Barnaby has a friend called Hamley who needed a school where he could be the special bear, so he brought him along to Happy House.
He's heard Auntie Lesley, who has been volunteering, say our playgroup and KG didn't have a school bear.
Auntie Lesley introduced them both to the Happy House family and told them all about the bears and their special powers, which were illustrated when Freddie, her helper, took them round to talk to our teachers.
Hamley told Mr Isaac, our head teacher, he was very happy to come to Happy House, he told Md Sarah, playgroup teacher, that he's like to sing Twinkle Twinkle and  Md Elizabeth, who is teaches in our secondary school, was thrilled to bits when said he'd to join her class.
We think he may have been kidding on that one, Md Elizabeth!
Hamley is staying at Happy House school now  Barnaby, has gone back to his school in Saudi so Auntie Lesley can help him to tell his own class about his travels to Kenya.
Hamley  is a very welcome addition to our family and even has his own Happy House shirt made by Lesley.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Home visit time

This will be a quiet week at Happy House.
As it is the last week of the Easter holidays, children who have relatives in a position to take them on a home visit have now gone home.
They left on Saturday, eager and excited.
Relatives came to collect them bright and early in most cases.
Three children got a lift from Noah, our driver, who was going to Mombasa on an errand was able to drop off John. Daudi and Diana on his way.
Maintaining links between children in our care and relatives is so important and Mama's pro-active approach has enabled Happy House to repatriate, by providing continued support, kids, previously in our family full-time, to relatives who have got back on their feet after the tragedy or extreme circumstances that led to their young relatives going into care.
Pictured are Baraka with his older brother;  Hussein and Husna with their grandmother and John, Daudi and Diana.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Learning to cook by Jedida

Jedida with Auntie Phillis
We can never have too many cooks in our kitchen as the kids are so eager to learn and help.
Today's blogger, Jedida, loves cooking:
In the kitchen we have two aunties. The aunties always cook for us different meals which we like. Most of the fresh vegetables they cook  come from the garden.
The aunties are very helpful to us in different ways such as giving us advice in case we need it.
 In the kitchen, we normally use the oven to bake bread or cakes. The bread and cakes are very delicious because the aunties are very good at doing it.
I like helping in the kitchen because it teaches me how to cook different things such as pizza, rice, ugali and soup.
 Right now I have learnt a lot from the aunties and I am able to cook some of these meals.
 I keep on helping so that I can learn more. The more I help the more I learn about new things in the kitchen.
When you look at the Happy House kitchen, it is always clean and tidy. This is because the aunties always make sure  they have cleaned it well after cooking.
The utensils are also very clean because after every meal they are cleaned and kept ready for another meal.

Helping in the kitchen is one of my best hobbies because being there and helping the aunties is enjoyable and interesting.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

A fab farewell

A special kids club earlier in the week, a trip to the beach and hot-dogs for lunch all added up to a a splendid send-off for Lesley and Alan Pidcock who set off back to Saudi today,
There was cake at Kidz Club on Tuesday, with songs and good wishes, and yesterday they enjoyed a trip to the beach, a splash in the sea followed by the walk home and hot-dogs apple bobbing, ice cream and more fun and games.
Lesley and Alan very kindly paid for the treats for the family.
They have both enjoyed helping at Happy House and Auntie Lesley has bee sharing her skills as an early years childcare teacher (she taught at Doncaster College before retiring and moving to Taif) with our own teachers.
Mr Isaac, headteacher, thanked her for all valuable contribution.
Alan complimented the school on being a caring and happy environment and told them they should all be proud.
The couple, who with the support of friends, raised £5000 for Happy House, were good friends before they arrived and have sponsored since their first visit in 2010 shortly after we opened.
It's been wonderful to see them again and we are grateful to them for all they have done.

Safe journey back home, hold the Happy House in your hearts, and come back again soon.
Lesley said: "What an amazing last day!
 "A trip to the beach with the children, fun and laughter all the way there, when at the beach and on the way home. "

Friday, 21 April 2017

Pep talk for Form 2

With their first term in Form 2 now behind them,  Mama has been having a get together with our secondary school's oldest students.
Having reviewed their exam results with each of them individually she and headteacher, Mr Isaac, a wanted a chance to hear from them as a group.
They have three more years in secondary school in front of them, and they understand the importance of helping and mentoring each other. with their studies which get ever harder.
Having a scholarship to Happy House school comes with responsibilities to those who support them, to each other and to themselves.
Mama's group sessions, with students and their teachers,  keeps the young people focused and are a real demonstration of the way she cares about their personal development.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Holiday bonus for baby!

Emmanuel, the youngest member of our  family, is thriving and revelling in the endless attention from all his Happy House brothers and sisters while they are on school holidays!
Emmanuel, who was abandoned by  his mum, joined our family in February and is the happiest little chap. 
Ad he may only have been with us a short time but he already has items from his sponsors, Red and Brenda Groves, in his memory box which will become his treasures when he is older.
Emmanuel, five months, is pictured with Charity and Said.
News of another Emmanuel, the very poorly newborn who was found thrown away in a pit latrine on Christmas Day, and came into our custody for a short time is that he is settled with a foster family and getting the medical care he needs.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Putting on a show

 Putting on a show comes easily to the kids.
They only need to be asked once and they will have a programme worked out and rehearsals organised.
So it was no hardship when Mama asked them to put on a show for Lesley and Alan Pidcock, who arrived just a little too late to see them perform at the school closing day ceremony.
With their usual style they staged song, dance and acrobatic acts - much to the thrill of their special guests.
They also enjoyed apple bobbing,  and  Alan joined in when, as Papa's Leeds Army, the kids all marched on together.
Our hip-hop hero David showed off his dancing, complete with press ups, and not to miss out his closest ally, Esther, did a dance too!
It was a happy occasion, enjoyed by all.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Uniform check

One week into the school holidays and we are already busy getting things ready for the start of the new term.
With so many children in our family, all growing fast,  it's time to check on uniforms to ensure everyone has clothes to fit. 
Anything outgrown but not outworn is handed down, while anyone needing something new goes to be measured by our in-house seamstress to who makes what's needed.
Sorting everything is a big job, but we are never short of helpers and some of our bigger girls took on the task.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Doing the family shop

 Doing a "big shop" took on a whole new dimension for Alan and Lesley Pidcock when then they went out with driver Noah to get the household groceries for Happy House.
It was their initial fundraising aim to cover the cost of the household shopping for our family for the two weeks of their stay in Watamu.
But they did so well, and with such amazing support from their friends and neighbours in Taif, Saudi Arabia, that they raised far more - enough for the shopping and to take out computer appeal to its target as well!
Doing the shopping is eye-opening as it's about as far removed from a supermarket shop as you can get, but it's always interesting and enjoyable and willing helpers are aplenty at Happy House!
Lesley and Alan did have a chuckle when they saw the brand of maize flour is called Taifa, it could have been made just for them - just add an A  to Taif for team effort!
Thank you again to Lesley and Alan and to everyone in Taif who supported them.
You have truly made a difference to the lives of our children.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Closing Day by Jacinta

Happy House kid Jacinta writes about the end of term closing day ceremony:
The closing ceremony was on a Friday morning.
 When we wanted to start our programme we had to get prepared first because we had many activities ahead.
 We were to start our activities at 9 am so we waited for Mama Sue to arrive so that we could start. 
When the time was reached, we started with a word of prayer from one of our teachers. 
Most parents had arrived very early but others came late. When the parents arrived, they were so happy everything was ready. 
Everyone was co-operating and we observed very nice behaviours.
The parents were entertained by different things from the pupils. 
Some pupils sang songs, others gave poems and others danced. When all the presentations had been done, we had our best dancer that is David Hayward perform for the people. 
David came here since he was a little boy and if you see him now he is big and he can now dance.
He danced at the ceremony and everybody was happy and enjoyed watching him.
After the ceremony, when the parents went into the classes they found out how their children had performed in exams, some had done well and others had performed poorly. 
The closing ceremony was so nice and we enjoyed it.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Sporting Carlisle colours

Our older kids will be sporting Carlisle colours when then they are on the soccer pitch.
We were lucky enough to receive a full kit of Carlisle United kit from Christine Brewin, president of  Carlisle South Inner Wheel.
Christine heard about Happy House when she attended a district Inner Wheel event last year  where Elizabeth Gomm had been invited to talk about our family and the wonderful work being done by Mama Sue and her team.
Getting anything to Kenya is always a problem and the kit will be going in stages, as and when we have someone to take it.
The first batch has now arrived and we had three volunteers, Brian, Baraka and Suleiman, very happy to model some of it.
Many thanks to Christine and Carlisle,

Friday, 14 April 2017

Charlotte's act of kindness

At Happy House we are touched by the kindness of others every single day.
But there is always something very special when the kindness comes from a child wanting to help children less fortunate than they are.
When Charlotte, five, who lives in Taif, Saudi Arabia, found out that Lesley and Alan Pidcock were making a trip to Happy House she wanted to do something for our kids.
Lesley said: "She came to me with a bag of clothes and toys she had sorted out that she wanted me to bring, so of course I found room to squeeze them in."
Esther eagerly posed for a picture with the a giant My Little Kitty and some lovely dresses sent by Charlotte, whilst Elizabeth clasped one of the toys  but wasn't being free with her smiles!
A very big thank you to Charlotte for being such a very generous little girl.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Reviewing the situation

School's out but the work doesn't stop.
Mama and headteacher Isaac have been putting in lots of hours this week reviewing examination results.
They meet with every student to discuss their results, to look at strengths and weaknesses, and to help the individual to set their own goals for the coming term.
The youngsters really appreciate the personal involvement and encouragement they receive from Mama and  Mr Isaac which helps them to aim higher

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

That's IT - new computers ready to go.

Mission accomplished ... we've finally done IT!
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Lesley and Alan Pidcock and friends in Taif, Saudi Arabia, our appeal to raise £3,500 to add to our school computer room's stock of desktop computers, and to refurbish some old ones, has now reached its target.
So many of you have helped by making donations, but launching an appeal just after Christmas is never a good time and it has been growing at a slow pace.
Lesley and Alan, who are now having a holiday visiting Watamu and Happy House, started fundraising in Taif with the aim of covering our family's groceries bill for the duration of their visit. But they had such a wonderful response they far exceeded their wishes and at the final count raised £5,000.
So Mama Sue decided that it could be used to take our own appeal to target and to buy the computers while Lesley and Alan were there.
 Papa sourced the new equipment at the best price and now Lesley, Alan and our kids have been helping to transport it to Happy House School where the kids were eager to help  computer teacher Mr Omoi to unload and install it ready for the new term,
Now there will no longer be any delays in lessons because kids are having to share as each pupil in a computer class will have a laptop or desktop to use,
With huge thanks to all those, individuals and organisations, who have contributed to our appeal,
In doing so you are giving our children, from backgrounds of extreme hardship, a head start in learning computer skills which will stand them in good stead when they eventually leave education and join the workforce.
A special mention of Sara and Vinnie, a lovely Italian couple, who get married this summer. They made a donation to our computer appeal in place of favours for their guests who will, instead, each receive a photo of our kids.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

End of term talent

Each term at Happy House School ends with a celebration.
The closing day ceremony is an opportunity to reward success, improvement and effort and also to showcase the talents of our students.
They put in a lot of time rehearsing for the celebration at Friday's closing day, and those who assembled to watch - parents, relatives, guardians and guests, were absolutely delighted with the show they had to watch.
Class 3, most improved
Students gave recitations, sang songs, demonstrated dancing and put on a display of acrobatics.
Dancing David
The presentations were made for academic success, and Class 2 emerged the best class in lower primary with Class 4 the best class in upper primary.
Form 1 was the best class in secondary school.
The most improved class was Class 3 primary.
At the end of the show Mama called for the "best dancer" in school to step out to perform.
And without hesitation, our David was there!
Some of the older kids have been teaching him to break dance, and he's giving it his all.
As David completed his solo spot to rousing applause, Mama told the gathering how, when he was was 11 months old, she had been told he had Downs Syndrome and to take him home and love him. he would never amount to anything.
"But we knew he could do more and worked so hard with him to bring out his potential and look what we have now, a happy, healthy, dancing six year old.
"And that is what we call our Happy House magic!" 
David's dance spot is included in today's video. Click here to watch:

Monday, 10 April 2017

Welcome back home

It's been seven years and both our Happy House and our kids have grown more than a bi since Lesley and Alan Pidcock last came to visit.
But now, they're back and Mama and Papa and the family are delighted to see them.
Lesley and Alan, who live in Saudi Arabia, arrived on Friday and joined Mama and Papa at Happy House on Saturday morning.
Lesley and Alan, with the support of their friends, colleagues and neighbours at home in Taif, raised more than £4,000 for Happy House which has taken our appeal for computers for school to its target, with more left over to fulfil Lesley's original plan to to raise enough money to cover the costs of the Happy House household bills for the duration of their stay in Watamu..
They've also brought with them many much needed items for our children, including the books the kids are holding in the picture with Lesley.
Welcome Alan and Lesley, thank you for all you do to help our family, and enjoy your visit.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

My family, by Phiona

Scholarship student Phiona Wema tells us about her family:
A family is a group of people who live together and share their properties.
My family is an extended family.
It is made up of grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, brothers and sisters and other family members.
We have a total of 35 in our family. My family is happy.
On a Saturday we have time to rest and to enjoy our time together.
We also eat food together.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Cheeky chums

 Making faces is fun!
David sucks in his cheeks, while Neema presses her thumb up against her thumb to nose to make funny faces.
And seeing them up to facial contortions, gets Abdulmalik thinking thinking he should have a go too!

Friday, 7 April 2017

A smile to light up your day

Every picture tells a story..
Front teeth missing, this happy little boy has a smile to light up the darkest day..
He's happy, healthy, and growing just as he should be, without a care in the world.
It was a very different story when, in December 2014, Lucky and his brothers, Erick and Thomas, joined our family.
The three were in a sorry state, Lucky, the middle child,  the worst of all.
His violent father had dipped his left foot in boiling water and, left untreated, it was badly infected.
In our care, Lucky and his brothers received all the medical care they needed, and the unconditional love and support that every child deserves.
Lucky's foot  still bears the legacy of his injuries, but he is now a happy, confident and, sometimes, mischievous little boy.
He and his brothers remain a close unit within our bigger family. They are a joyful trio bubbling over with enthusiasm for life.
Mama Sue and her Happy House transform young lives and put hope into the hearts of children.
We can only do this with your support, your sponsorship and your donations.
If you would like to sponsor a Happy House child please email: or to make a donation go to:

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Thanks Taif you are terrific!

Over £4,000 and still more coming!
That the amazing result of an all-action fundraising effort organised by Lesley Pidcock in Taif, Saidi Arabia.
Lesley and her husband, Alan,  are great friends of our charity and have been a huge personal support to Mama and Papa when they have had to spend prolonged visits to the UK.
Alan and Lesley visited Happy House in 2010, just a few months after it opened. They took our family to their hearts and kept it there.
They have sponsored Janet Chengo and Natasha Thoya, now both repatriated to relatives, and are also in the sponsor family of Priscilla, who they are yet to meet.
They set off for a holiday in Watamu tomorrow, and knowing she was going, Lesley was determined to raise enough money to pay the Happy House household grocery bill for the duration of their stay.
Lesley and Alan live in Taif, where Alan works, and Lesley arranged a fun day, a cake sale and other events, supported by friends of all ages.
She writes:
 Taif has been a hub of fund raising and fun over the last few weeks!
 I have been very overwhelmed by the generosity of the small community we have here. 
The children did a sponsored walk last week, and I am still getting their money handed in; a few of them did it the week before as they were on holiday the week we did the walk. 
They threw the water over me at the end of the walk!
So far we have raised just over  21,000 Saudi Riyals which is about £4,460 - fingers crossed we may just break through the £5,000.
Amazing, when I think of my first intention to try to raise £750 to cover household bilsl for Happy House for the time we are in Watamu.
Most days I have been given donations ranging from 30 to 3,900 SAR each one has been very gratefully received, as we know every penny counts.
We held a fun day, where there were traditional stalls like name the teddy, how many sweets in the jar, find the treasure, a cake stall, hot dogs and of course a raffle.
 However, the highlight of the day was the senior management team that had agreed to be auctioned off and have wet sponges thrown at them in the stocks this alone raised over 5,000 SAR.  
We also had a band entertaining us who had stepped in at the last minute, as the band we had planned  pull out just 48 hours before the event. The band is very appropriately named ‘The 11th Hour’... 
We are hugely grateful to Lesley and Alan to all those friends who generously supported their fundraising. Every penny will be used to make life better and brighter for the children and young people in our care
Thank you.
And the Happy House family is looking forward to seeing you very soon, Lesley and Alan!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

School Report:Term coming to a close

 With school breaking up for the Easter holidays this week, and exams over, Happy House School has
been busy rehearsing for the Closing Day ceremony, writes Mr Mramba.
Parents, relatives, guardians and guests have been invited to attend the special assembly on Friday.
There has also been an inter-school competition in the last week - competing with Gede School.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Boys being boys

 Boys will be boys, when, after a busy week  it's time to chill out.
 At Happy House some of our boys home in on the games room just as soon as they can to   have fun playing their favourite video games.
Others prefer the more traditional form of entertainment   playingcboard games  or just running around in the great outdoors or swinging in the sun.

Happy birthday Papa

Today is Papa's birthday and we send him our love and good wishes for the happiest day from all his friends around the world.
Thank you Papa for all you do, for all the support you give our wonderful Mama, and for making us laugh too!
You are always our VIP!