Monday, 26 June 2017

A job well done

With weeds popping up all over the place, our garden gang have been hard at work keeping the grounds around their home neat and tidy.
Mama and Papa have always emphasised to our kids the importance of looking after their Happy House home and taking a pride in their surroundings.
The children, led by the Kidz Council, and their teachers have been working side by side to pull up all the weeds and bits of grass around the Happy House grounds.
A job well done!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

New system reduces subject burden, by Kelvin

Scholarship student, Kelvin David, writes today's blog:
I am now in Form 2 secondary school and this term we were able to choose which subjects we wished to drop.
This system means that we can stop taking subjects that we will not need to progress on to our chosen career path,
 Previously, we had 13 subjects which is a heavy load.
 Through discussions and suggestions with the board of management together with the teachers, we were able to choose the subjects that we needed to achieve our future careers through the kind support given to us by our lovely director Mama Sue and all the management staffs involved in this system. 
This system has made my learning much more manageable and I can concentrate on subjects that are important to me 
I have got enough time to go through my work and it has given me time to read more. 
I can now concentrate more on what will help me achieve my dreams of becoming a doctor.
We could not have gotten this new system without the kind support from our Mama Sue ,and that is why I say a big thank you to her and all the management.
Thank you so much for this wonderful joy that you have brought into us, and as form two students we promise to work extra harder than ever before, thank you.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Fun in the sun

David, Brian, Harry and Esther Hayward
 What do you do when school's out? Head for the beach to make a splash.
It's been the mid-term break this week and so to finish it on a high note Mama suggested a trip to the sands.
Frst thing yesterday, before it got too hot, our children and staff made their happy way to the beach where they played on the sands, building sandcastles and having a  kick about,  and splashed in the water, the older ones looking after the littlies
It was a happy morning for a Happy House family!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Lily is a star

There were cheers for Lily when she was awarded  Mama's coveted Star of the Week at Kidz Club.
Lily received the award for keeping the room she shares with some of er Happy House "sisters"  clean and tidy and being a good role model to the other girls.
Mama congratulated all the children on working hard to do well in their recent exams.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Fruit delight

There's never a problem getting our little ones to eat their five a day!
With fresh fruit and vegetables, much of it straight from the garden, all ripened in the sun it comes at its tastiest, juiciest, best.
And it it goes down a treat as these pictures of of our  Elizabeth illustrate!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

School Report: KG music festivals underway

 Happy House hosted the first round of an inter-school kindergarten musical festival, Teacher Louisa reports.
This covered poem and songs and our children, who had worked hard to prepare for the event, did very well taking first place in each section.

Mama,  Auntie Rose and Uncle Ronny attended the event which was also great encouragement for the children, they always want to do well for their Mama.
Happy House school progresses to the next event which takes place at  Gede later this week.
The activities are always colourful and very interesting.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Michael gets a break

Little Michael took a tumble while he was outside playing with his pals.
An x-ray showed he had a slight fracture just below and elbow.
Uncle Steve took him to Malindi to Tofiq private hospital where, following the x-ray, his arm was put in a lightweight plaster.
He's taking it all in the stride and back  and keeping up with his playmates, who were all very concerned for him, just as before!

Monday, 19 June 2017

He's Happy and he knows it ...

 Our Happy House cat lead a purrfect life.
He is surrounded by kids and adults who love him,  plenty of space to hunt or just to lay in the sun.
The outdoor kitchen was one of his favourite spots, but now he's taken to paying a daily visit to Mama's office.
Mama says: "He comes in the office everyday at 12.30 when Dave arrives with our lunch. He will eat everything Including home made vegetable soup, really enjoying the carrots.
" He loves tuna sandwiches, sausages, yogurt, bananas and one of his favorites is mozzarella cheese. 
"When the children are around he enjoys rice and ugali with them.
" He is the most loving little cat is our Happy Hayward, he rubs around our legs meowing. He lets the children stroke him, even if it is the wrong way. He never scratches anyone, if they get a bit much he just runs away. 
"He finds a nice sunny spot for one of his many daily naps.
" He is 7 years old now, everyone has grown up together, he has also lost most of his teeth same as the kids.. Just pleased they will grow new ones !"

Sunday, 18 June 2017

School is fun, by Lavinne

Lavinne was struggling, because of family hardship,  to access any education before she was given a free place scholarship at Happy House.
She was so eager to learn and is enjoying every minute of being in school. She writes:
At Happy Hoouse secondary school our education is so much fun.
We do all kind of activities.
Our teachers are the best and are ready to help us with anything that we may find is really hard for us. 
We do practical activities in science in  with our well equipped laboratory.
We also do our research using the computers which have got  Internet.
We can also read a lot of story books from the library  to improve our English in both pronunciation and grammar.   

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Birthday quartet

 A bumper number of birthdays were celebrated at Happy house this week.
Four children received their gifts and greetings at Kidz Club, the weekly gathering when all the children and staff come together to share their news.
This week's birthdays are Priscilla Ponda,  Baraka Kaigu and twins Amani and Baraka Kea.
Happy birthday to you all.
Birthday kids pictured are: Top left: Amani; top right, Baraka; Bottom left: Baraka Kaingu; bottom right, Priscilla.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Our children will always come first

 Settled with family: Zawadi, Jane and Rose
 Mama Sue's mission to rebuild families is charting new territory in childcare in Kenya.
Over the last year and a half, we have successful repatriated more than 40 children, some of whom had been in our care for several years, to a parent or blood relative..
In most cases, this has been successful.  But in some cases children have returned to Happy House. 
With our careful monitoring, and by giving each child a voice, means when it hasn't worked out children have returned, seamlessly and without emotional stress, into our family.
Catching up with Hassan and Maria
They have settled in as if they'd never been away.
Rukia and Said
For instance, Katana has come home because he was struggling to live in the community with an elder sister and yet his older brother Fikiri is fine with his family and has stayed.
Rukia and Said, living with a grandma and auntie,  have also returned because, as the months went over,  they were finding it difficult to adjust.
Pendo, Lily and Samson have returned to our roost without so much as batting an eyelid as their mum has lost her job and wasn't managing she wanted to.
"Some children went on extended home visits and have stayed, others, for a variety of reasons, are back home," said Mama Sue. 
"We can never say a child has gone permanently because situations here can change in the blink of an eye," said Mama Sue.
"The family carer might not be able to find work, or fall ill, or the child might become unsettled.
"Everything we do puts the child first.
Katana
" Each one knows that once they are a Happy House kid they are always a Happy House kid, and because we have empowered them to speak out they are not afraid to ask to come home to us if they feel the need to and a relative feels able to admit if they are not managing.
"Nothing is ever treated as failure. We have built relationships based on honesty and positivity  
"We work so hard to keep up with families of every child who is now living back with relatives and for the majority it is working and we are delighted this is so.
"They are growing up, as they should, with relatives in the their own communities while we support their education and medical needs for as long as we need to. 
"Gradually we are encouraging their carers to take more responsibility with the eventual aim of their being able to provide for all the needs of their youngsters.
"This is not a pipe dream, it is a slowly emerging reality.
"With our encouragement a parent or relative will work towards providing for their child or children.
"We are there to be a safety net if it is needed."
"None of this would be possible without your support and your sponsorship. Together we are changing young lives for the better here at Happy House and in the wider community."We constantly need more sponsors, more funds, it's a huge undertaking."
Over the next few weeks sponsors will receive an update on their sponsor child.
Mama said she and our enthusiastic young social worker, Uncle Ronald,  were working so hard to keep in contact with all the children and relatives now living together in their local communities.
She, Papa and Uncle Ronnie make visits to home and schools of the kids now living with relatives to see and hear for themselves how they are going on.
In our video, made at the start of the week when our kids were embarking on mid-term exams,  Mama Sue talks more about her work with families.
To make a donation to support Happy House work with children living with us or supported by us with families in the community please go to:   https://www.justgiving.com/childrenofwatamu/Donate/





Thursday, 15 June 2017

Visitors from US for Nickson

 A lovely couple visiting from the USA are promising to tell all their friends about our wonderful Happy House when they get back home.
Melany and Corey Rabideau, who live in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, got in touch with Sue when they were arranging their visit to Kenya back at the start of the year.
They wanted to sponsor a child they could get to know on their visit.
Melany and Corey sponsor four year old Nickson who came into our care with his brother older Brian last year.
Melany and Corey have had great fun playing with Nickson and all our kids,
They brought with them gifts for the children including a bubble wand which has been a huge hit.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

School Report: Time to be tested

 As another week is underway at Happy House School everything is running smoothly and to plan, writes Madam Naomi.
We are reaching the targets we set and both primary and secondary pupils have been busy revising for their exams which are now taking place.
Teachers have been on hand to give help wherever needed in the run up to these important tests.
Pupils have been inspired by the talks they have been having with Mama Sue and we are hopeful of an improved performance.
In Kindergarten teachers and children have been preparing the items they will perform for an upcoming music festival, hosted at Happy House School.
The festival includes items in English and Kiswahili plus poems, songs and dancing

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

At the ready

 On Saturday, Happy House kids enjoyed a morning in school getting ready for their mid-term examinations.
With Mama's support and encouragement, backing from social worker Uncle Ronnie, head teacher. Mr Isaac, and all the teachers all the kids are promising to do their best.
And if the school performance takes the Happy House to first place in the zone Mama has told them they can look forward to a treat - a celebration party.

Newsletter

A lot of hard work and creativity went into producing the latest  Happy House and School newsletter which was sent out to sponsors last week.
Mama and her team have been receiving lots of positive messages from our friends who were delighted to be kept abreast of the news.
If you would like to take a look at it please follow this link to find it on our website:

Monday, 12 June 2017

Trees felled

 Trees that have outgrown their space in the Happy House grounds have been felled.
Mama asked the outdoor staff to cut the trees and chop the wood into logs.
They will now be dried out and the logs used on the wood oven in the outdoor kitchen, giving us a saving on the cost of fuel.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

TV times

Scholarship student Michael Baya is one of the many students of our school who are enjoying the experience of learning with the aid of a smart TV.
The TV was bought with money raised in Taif, Saudi Arabia, by Lesley and Alan Pidock.
Michael writes:
Am saying thanks for the smart TV to Mama and our donors.
It helps us in many things and it also enables our studies to run well.
We should give gratitude to Mama Sue for the love that she is showing us and for saying we should have such a TV.
The smart TV has helps us to searching for the answers to  questions through the internet as it is connect to the network; it also helps us to lean more at each lesson.
For that work Mama is doing I am praying to God to help so as to come up with more networks like the one she got for us.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Pool fun for council

There was a splash happy time for the Kidz Council when they went on a visit to Mama and Papa's house. The council members, who are the eyes and ears of the family, report to Mama every week on any items they wish to raise and they also play an active role in organising the children to help around the house.
To say thank you for the job they do Mama and Papa invited them to go round for a swim, hot dogs and juice.
And a great time was had by all.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Birthday boys

Lucky with Auntie Rose
 A dynamic double act, Brian and Lucky are celebrating their birthdays this week.
Brian Hayward is turning seven years old while Lucky Safari is a cheeky six!
Brian with Mama and Papa
Papa Dave presented Brian with his birthday goody bag and Auntie Rose had the honour of giving Lucky his birthday gifts.
The family, gathered for Kidz Club, sang birthday congratulations to both happy little boys.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

First class delivery

There was a first class delivery service for new desks to our school's KG2.
A willing band of helpers carried the desks, made by our joiner Charo  and his assistant, Isaac, into class.
Replacing worn our furniture, already well used when we got it seven years ago, and making additional desks and chairs as more children enter our school is a continual and worrying expense.

We need 56 new desk, so far Charo has made 25. 
At a cost of  £15 per unit for materials we need a whopping £840 to make them all..
If could could help by donating £15 to buying a desk or making a donation towards the cost it would be a huge help.  
Donations can be made via JustGiving:
 https://www.justgiving.com/childrenofwatamu/Donate


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

School report: Getting creative

Bingo for babies!
Teacher Sarah has been teaching her little ones number recognition by matching number plate bingo.
Making lessons fun like this captures the children's interest and imagination.
There has also been fun for the younger kids  playing in the sand making houses, hills and writing words sand.
Meanwhile KG 3 pupils having been getting creative with Teacher Getry making leaf prints and activity they enjoyed so much they didn't want it to end!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Making new friends

There was a very warm welcome for our long-time Happy House friends Scott and Laura Webster when they went to talk at their local church about their many experiences volunteering with our family.
One of their first volunteer visits
Scott and Laura were speaking to the Friendship Group at Royal Wootton Bassett Methodist Church, an audience of 25  people from many different backgrounds including former social worker, probation officer and teachers.
Scott and  Laura illustrated their talk with pictures they'd taken themselves, plus a video and presentation provided by our UK coordinator Elizabeth.
Scott said: " Some of the people there had volunteered overseas themselves and they were all very impressed by is being achieved for children at the Happy House and its school."
The group very kindly made a donation of £50 to help.  Our thanks to them and to Scott and Laura.

Charity shop

If you are anywhere near the Fylde coast please pop in to see what we have on sale this week in a charity shop in Poulton.
Poulton Methodist Church owns the shop which it allows local charities to use, on a rota basis, for one week each year in return for a percentage of the takings. It's a great resource for charities like our own.
We will be opening from 10am-3pm today, tomorrow and Thursday.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Smart work!

 A smart TV bought with some of the funds raised by Lesley and Alan Pidcock at their  very well supported fundraising events in Taif, Saudi Arabia, is proving a  huge benefit to our students,
Teachers are using the television to research and explore new avenues of approach to their subjects.
They are then able to use the television to show relevant internet video to bring lessons to life.
We are so grateful to Lesley and Alan and to all their friends in Taif for making this possible. Thank you.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Our laboratory, by Michael

Michael Kombe is a scholarship student who is discovering the world of science thanks to our laboratory.
I’m Michael a student in secondary school form 1.
I am writing this blog about the Happy House laboratory.
I’m glad to be able to use it when we study science because it is well equipped with many instruments.
Recently there  were some chemicals bought by Mama Sue to enable  practical experiments the scientific subjects such as physics, biology and chemistry. 
The laboratory is an important room and it is designed specific for experimentation and research Of scientific tasks.
It is important to those of us who want to go on to careers such as being a doctor. 


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Charity shop opens today - for one week only!

There's a chance to bag a bargain and boost our Happy House funds in Poulton, Lancashire, for the next week.
We are taking over the Poulton Methodist Church Charity Shop in Chapel Street opening at 10am today.
The church kindly lets the shop to different charities for a week at a time, so many good causes benefit over the year.
We have lots of donated items clothes (some never worn), children's clothes, games, toys and dressing up clothes.
Then there's household items and bric-a-brac, dvds and books (for all ages) ... shoes and accessories.
 Helene Stephens, Margaret Willan and Helen's granddaughters Ella and Rebecca got the shop all stocked up for the start of trade today, which also happens to be Poulton Gala Day.
 Helene will be on shop duty all day today so pop in and say hello.
The shop will be open today, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 3pm (approx) ,
Thank you to everyone who is helping in the shop over the next week. We are so grateful to you for giving up your time to help our family.
We desperately need funds to maintain and develop our work with children in need  - those who find a a safe and loving  home in our Happy House and others from the local community, from abject poverty, who would be out of school, if it were not for the  education they receive on free place scholarships in our school
Please come and splash your cash (a little will buy a lot) and every single penny we raise will make a difference to a young life.
See you soon.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Work then play!

Once home from school and changed our little ones get their homework done.
Whether it reading, writing or arithmetic there is always an auntie around to give them support and to ensure that nobody is struggling.
And as soon as the work is done, books put away, it's time to play out and have fun.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

That's the way to do it!

Every family has its own way of doing things, and its own routine.
And this week at Kidz Club our children were reminded of the importance of doing things the right way.
It was a very happy gathering with the usual songs and exchange of news.