Monday, 29 May 2017

Happy Monday

Happy Bank Holiday.
In the UK it's a national holiday and a chance to take it easy, so we thought it would be nice to share pictures of some of our kids doing just that. Taking it easy and having fun!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Celebrating by Francis

Scholarship student Francis Anangwe, Franco to all our family, is really thankful for the Happy House Celebration of Life.
He writes:
" I am Francis , a student in form two at one of the topmost performing schools, Happy House School.
 It’s rare for common people in Kenya to have an opportunity to have a life celebration in their families or homes.
 I am glad that this has true in Happy House where we sit together as a family and celebrate.

To me the function of the Celebration of Life day was very important as I felt it from the bottom of my heart.
My friends and I in form two eagerly prepared an activity to present on that day.
The Happy House  home kids and the primary sections also prepared new ideas on what they would preform on the day and everyone there was pleased with what we all did.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Birthday girls and help needed

Husna
Jacinta
 Happy birthday, happy kids.
Husna and Jacinta are celebrating their birthdays this week so true to Happy House practice they received their birthday gifts at Kidz Club on Tuesday.
Happy birthday girls.

YOUR HELP NEEDED

From June 3 to 9, Happy House will be having  the Poulton Methodist Charity Shop, on Chapel Street, Poulton, Lancs, to raise very much needed funds
We desperately need helpers from our Happy House friends to give a morning or afternoon to rlook after sales (10am-12.30, or 12.30 to 3pm-ish)
If you can spare some time, even if it is only an hour or so, please email elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net 
For personal reasons Elizabeth is taking a back seat this year and Pauline Royle and Helene Stephens are doing the organising, 
Donations of good can be dropped off at the shop (opening hours only from Monday-Wednesday that week).
If you let Elizabeth have your contact details and times you are available, she will pass them on. Thank you.
We do so need the cash, so of you can give just a bit of your time we would be truly grateful. 
Thank you.

Friday, 26 May 2017

David steals the show


A very special little boy, David, six, loves to dance and to make people laugh.

At the annual Celebration of Life day, David combined both talents as he joined in a dance in the style of the Kamba tribe.
Although the little one of the three, David led the dance where he was joined with Fatuma and Suleiman.
David, who has Down's Syndrome, is such such a happy, outgoing little chap who, thanks to the love and encouragement he receives from all our family, grasps every opportunity life offers him.
That is a real Celebration of Life.



Thursday, 25 May 2017

Celebrating life

 Every May, on the anniversary of the death of our Mama Sue's beloved dad, Harold, the Happy House family gets together for a Celebration of Life.
As so many of those in our family, children and staff, have lost someone dear to them, it is a chance to share the happy memories they hold in their hearts and to enjoy entertainment to celebrate the joy of living, being with family and friends.
The emphasis is on being happy, not being sad, and it is a time to laugh and smile.
The children in our Kindergarten put on a show of dance from many comunities and cultures including Maasai, Kikuyu, Luhya, Swwahili, Italian, Nigerian and Luo. 
The primary kids had a dance while the high school also had a song and a dance.
David, as ever, showed off his talent for dance and humour as a Kamba - we'll bring that video on tomorrow's blog!
 Rukia was on stage with her nice golden voice who had  a song.
 Teddy gave us a short speech celebrating life of Mike, his sponsor who died this month, and who the long-time partner of our Auntie Libby.

 Mr. Laurent, Papa and Mama also spoke of those who helped to shape their lives - it was following the death of her own father and the overwhelming grief that followed, that Papa brought Mama to Kenya for the holiday which was to change her life, and put her on the path to her Happy House

  • Tomorrow's blog will bring you a video our our own little dance star David who showed off a new talent for comedy when he joined a dance celebrating the Kamba tribe

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

School report: Opening a new chapter

New books for English and Kiswahili have been provided for our Classes 1 and 2 following a training iniiative for teachers  in schools like our own.
The Ministry of Education has issued the books, which are learner-centred, to synchronise with the updated training for teachers.
Our children are really enjoying the new books and the fact they have come from the Ministry is a boon to Happy House as we usually have to buy all our own text books.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Croc and wash

 We are lucky to have visitors who take croc-type shoes for our kids.
They are the perfect footwear for out-of-school use as they are tough and washable and easy to had down when they are outgrown.
Our kids play hard and are outdoors so much that their shoes get very dirty, but who cares when getting them clean again is so much fun!


Work in progress

Our in-house joiner, Charo. is busy in his workshop making new desks for our little people.
Desks in our kindergarten, which were well used when we got them, are now in need of replacing and Charo has the task of making them.
If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of the desks please donate  via JustGiving https://www.justgiving.com/childrenofwatamu/Donate

Monday, 22 May 2017

Awesome St Aidan's

Our amazing friends at St Aidan's CE High School have handed over £308.09p raised by various fundraising efforts at Christmas and Easter.
The young people in Mrs Joanne Rossall's K7 class at the school, which is in Pressall, Lancashire, sponsored Linus until he was able to go back home to live with his mum, who is now in a position to support her family,  in Nairobi. 
They now sponsor little Stephen.
Mrs Rossall is pictured with the jar of cash raised in school by sales of Christmas novelties  and also by an Easter biscuit bake.
Our love and thanks to everyone at St Aidan's for always doing your very best to help our Happy House family.
You are friends indeed.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

How my life has changed, by Gladys

Gladys Sidi's life has been transformed since she was awarded a free place as a scholarship student at Happy House.
Gladys writes:
My name is Gladys and I am a form two student in secondary school.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mama for the golden chance that she gave me to be among the Happy House family.
I am now not the same person who came to Happy House.
 This is because I am now able to speak fluently English and I have now become computer literate.
I am performing well in my studies due to the kind support that I’m getting from my lovely teachers.
They are so friendly, They teach wholeheartedly and are always ready to assist any student with any problem. 
The environment is also conducive to our learning and wellbeing,  as we all know that environment matters a lot. 
My fellow students are also friendly that we are able to assist each other.
At Happy House, the teachers deliver the highest quality of education than ever.
Thank you.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Birthday celebrations

There was a bumper crop of birthdays to celebrate at Kidz Club this week.
The family, together for their weekly gathering, gave greetings and gifts to each of the birthday kids.
 Our happy birthday kids are (from left) Elizabeth, two, Daudi , seven,  Rukia, 12, and her brother Saidi, seven. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Roof repairs

The last thing needed when the rains come is a leaky roof.
But that's just what has happened with the roof above the walkway from the kitchen in the house to the outdoor cooking area.
No soon than the leak was discovered than it was under repair as some of our outdoor staff got to work on putting things right and making it rainproof once again.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

How does your garden grow?

So how does our garden grow?
Very nicely, thank you.
The arrival of the long-awaited and much heralded rains has given everything a growth spurt.
The maize seed planted at the end of last month is now shooting up, tall and strong.
Nurtured by our outdoor staff who work hard to keep the weeds from encroaching on the crops, it will, in the fullness of time,  yield a good crop of  golden corn.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

School Report: Wake up call!

In the second week of the second term, students in Happy House school have been getting back into the swing of learning with "wake-up" exams in nursery and primary school.
Mr Steve said: "We are expecting to have good results from both sections.
Within the high school students are very busy working hard to reach their targets because they really want to get higher marks this time round,
Throughout the school we are grateful that the rain has come, it has been too hot and we need the rain to cool us down! ''

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Colour me beautiful

Our children love getting creative with colour.
Armed templates to colour in and crayons they have just the best fun using their imaginations to come up with some beautiful pictures.
To the children, crayoning is just a fun activity but it is  beneficial  as it helps promote fine motor development , concentration, colour recognition and hand eye co-ordination.
And then of course, there's also the sense of pride and achievement when they finish their colouring and have a chance to show it off!
        

Monday, 15 May 2017

All power to Will

 A wonderful friend to Happy House, Will Gordon has again smashed a half-marathon to raise much needed funds for our family.
He made the distance in the Leeds Half Marathon yesterday with a time of 1:58:58
Not content with one endurance test in 2017, Will set himself a challenge of two half-marathons with the aim of raising £2,500.
And although his second half-marathon, the Great North Run, isn't until September thanks to his amazing family and friends, he has already banked £2,096!
Will is a half-marathon veteran, having  completed the same run in both 2012 and 2015 to raise money Happy House.
Will and his family have been supporting our family since they first visited the Happy House way back in 2009.  
Will said:"I met Sue and Libby - two of the most inspiring ladies I have  ever met. The first day, I visited the Happy House, which was then being built, I agreed to sponsor and committed to helping with fundraising where I could.. 
" I believe that we can all make a difference however small."

Will, his wife Laura and children Luke and Georgia, of Thorner, Leeds,  returned for another visit in 2013.
Thank you Will from all the the Happy House family, you are an absolute star for always going the extra mile - you certainly deserved that pint!
Many thanks also to everyone who has sponsored Will, every penny you have donated will go directly to improving the lives of children in our care


Sunday, 14 May 2017

All about me, by Peter

Scholarship student Peter Kirema tells us about himself.
My name is Peter Kirema, I live in Watamu.
I am a boy and I am 11 years old.
I learn at Happy House school where I am in class four
My class teacher is called Madam Charlotte.
I like to eat food, beans are body building food, and drink juice.
I live with my parents at home.
At school I like to go to the computer room.
Sometimes l go to the library.
My best subject is CRE.
I love my parents very much because they take  good care of me.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Happy House makes happy memories

 Alan and Lesley Pidcock recently returned to Happy House after first discovering it seven years ago.
This time they made up their minds to spend as much time as possible with our family and both were deeply impressed by what they saw and experienced.
Here Alan gives his view:
" It really is amazing to see the children not just playing and learning together but also helping each other and helping the staff around the house and garden too. 
From the Johnny rushing to meet Mama Sue at  the car each day to escort her to the office to the girls sorting the little ones clothes and helping them to get dressed after their showers.
 A few of the days there were children, mainly boys,  with the gardeners and assisting with the general ground maintenance and learning skills which will help them in the future.
Each member of staff is excellent.
 Auntie Esther, a cook, could not resist playing a game of football the little ones when she'd come into Happy House on her day off for the weekly staff meeting.
The highlight for me was when we went to the beach along with the teachers, aunties and all the children.
The younger ones and non-swimmers played in the shallows and on the sand whilst the bigger children and swimmers joined us in the deeper waters.
The whole beach was awash with excitement, smiles and laughter. 
Remembering the beaming smiles of each child having fun that day still makes me smile.
Another wonderful memory is the tribe of kids following Papa Dave singing the Leeds United anthem ‘Marching on Together’...being a Leeds supporter myself it is wonderful knowing we have a mini supporters club in Watamu!
Our holiday sadly had to end; however, the memories remain. 
The pioneering work  of Sue and Dave and their team is beyond all imagination.
The Happy House is busy and hectic but more importantly it is filled with love by family where each one respects the other"

Friday, 12 May 2017

Our family grows with new arrival Gregy

A childhood free from worry is just beginning for seven-year-old Gregy.
Gregy jas been living with his grandma since his mum left him with her three years ago while she left the country  to search for work. They have not heard from her since.
Gregy grandmother suffers very poor health and is often bedridden so Gregy has been doing all the household chores.
His school has been badly affected.
With grandma (right) defeated by circumstances, Gregy has come into our safe and loving care as a member of the Happy House family.
Now he can enjoy life as a little boy with new friends to play with and has joined the other kids in our school.
It costs £20 a month to sponsor Gregy. If you would like to sponsor him and become his friend please email: elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net 




Thursday, 11 May 2017

Double celebration

 Uncle Ronnie has started back at Happy House as our full-time social worker and the kids are delighted.
Uncle Ronnie received a happy welcome from Mama, Papa and all the family at Kidz Club this week.
There was also another cause for celebration,  the birthday of our lovely Fatuma.
Mama presented her with her birthday gifts.
Welcome back, Uncle Ronnie, and Happy Birthday Fatuma.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Rains arrive

Last week our gardeners were planting maize, and now the rains have started to fall it will be shooting up in no time.
In Kenya,  which is so hot and dry, the rain is "God's blessing" as it quenches the thirsty earth and plants start to grow,
There was certainly plenty of it at Happy House, these pictures show Morris, our school groundsman, in his weatherproofs and the school playground looking more like a swimming pool!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

It's dirty work

It's dirty work, but someone has to do it.
With the Happy House running on septic tanks it's essential to have the tanks cleaned out regularly.

And in Kenya it's a much more labour intensive and nasty job,  than it would be in the UK in rural areas without mains sewerage.
This team cleared the tanks and went away flushed with success!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Homework helpers

When a child at Happy House is struggling with homework there is always someone on hand to help.
Harry was trying hard with his work but just couldn’t get the answers right so little Faith, five,  stepped in to show him how it’s done.
Together they came up with the right answers in the caring and sharing Happy House way.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

My parents, by Yvonne

Today scholarship student Yvonne Abdallah tells us about her mum and dad.
My father is called Mr Abdullah.
While my mother is called Grace.
I live with my parents at Timboni.
I love my parents so much as they love me too.

They take care of me at home.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Garden gang

 Learning how to plant, nurture and harvest food crops in our garden stands our kids in good stead for the future.
Those children repatriated into families in the last year are enjoying putting the gardening skills they learnt at Happy House to use as they help on the vegetable plots that are so important in a world where the better your grow your crops, the more you have to feed your family.

So all our kids, right from being very small, are encouraged to sow and grow and to reap the rewards of their labour when the crops they have tended are taken to the kitchen to be made into the tasty meals they love - or a fruity treat at Kidz Club!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Happy birthday Hussein

 Hussein was the very happy boy to have a birthday celebrated at Kidz Club this week.
He will be nine on Saturday but we always celebrate birthdays at the weekly family gathering when everyone is together.
His brothers and sisters sang Happy Birthday and he received his bag of gifts from Papa Dave.
Mama also reminded the children,  home from their first back in school after Easter, to keep on track, work hard and help each other.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

School is in!

 When the school bell signalled the start of a new term there was no stopping our kids!
They were actually running to school, so eager to get back after the Easter break.
The term started, as always, with a special assembly.
The Kenya and Union flags were raised by our scout troop followed by prayers.
Mama Sue and head teacher, Mr Isaac, focused the students on the term ahead explaining to them how they expected everyone to work hard, to behave well and to help each other.
They were told that each individual should strive for the goals they set themselves and to their best.
At the end of assembly the youngsters went to their classrooms and lesson began.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Busy day for Mama

 Every day is a busy day for Mama Sue.
She works tirelessly to ensure the Happy House runs smoothly both at home and at school, that the children are the first priority, and also that the whole operation is cost effective.
She and Auntie Rose keep a tight rein on spending to ensure maximum value for money which is so important as we rely entirely on the generosity others,
Tuesday is one of the busiest days of the week as it is the day Mama has has one meeting after another.
She meets with staff from each department at home and school. This week she had the start of term assembly too.
But the day finishes on a light note, with our weekly Kidz Club when everyone comes together to share their news, celebrate birthdays etc.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Networking at Happy House

Mama Sue and Happy House were delighted to play host to the regular meeting of the local network of children’s  homes.

Social workers or senior staff from children’s homes locally come together to share a grow from each their experience and to improve the way that youngsters in care are looked after.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Ready for school

Our resident seamstress, Auntie Constance has been busy getting uniforms ready for the start of the new term tomorrow.
Together she and Auntie Millicent have everyone’s uniform, sorted out and shoes polished and shining.
When the kids return this week, they will look as smart as a new pin!