Bringing more news of the Happy House 10th birthday party next month, Mama Sue gets thrown of kilter by some very giggly kids.With AbdulMalik unable to keep a straight face she gets through the first half by saying how pleased she is that some of our lovely friends will be travelling out for the party and asking them to pop some jelly crystals into suitcases.After all, what is a kids' party without jelly to eat!She then makes a second appearance to appeal to you- our friends - for any pictures you may have taken of our children on visits to Happy House over the last decade.They can be emailed to her email@example.com If you would like to help get us on the road in style in our 10th birthday year please make a donation to our appeal to buy a new school bus - we are so close to our target and just need a final push! https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/buyabus
To a storm-battered old England, Mama Sue sends us a ray of Kenyan sunshine.She and a group of bubbly children bring us the good news that more than £21,000 of our £25,000 target has already been raised towards buying a new school bus. A new bus is desperately needed as the one we have is on it's last legs and we are constantly paying out for repairs just to keep it safely on the road.
If you would like to help get us on the road in style in our 10th birthday year please make a donation via https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/buyabus Thank you for caring and please share this post with your friends.
With less than a month to go to our tenth birthday, excitement is mounting at Happy House.
At Kidz Club, the weekly family get together, Mama Sue asked the kids if they were looking forward to it - to a resounding yes!
With half-term starting she said some of the older kids would be able to help spruce up their home ready for the big day by helping with painting and varnishing where it is needed.
But for one little boy it was just a big yawn!
In our joinery workshop at the Happy House we are lucky to have a skilled craftsman at work.Uncle Charo is a carpenter who really knows how to make beautiful and functional furniture.He is grateful for the machinery, bought through donations, that helps make his job easier.As he tells us in this video, he is currently working on making stools for our art room at Happy House School
Half-term starts at Happy House School today and our children are looking forward to a break.And it will be well deserved. They have all worked hard in the start of the academic year and have this week been taking their mid-term examinations as Mr Duncan explains.
Maintaining the Happy House, as we have said before, is a never ending task.
And with our 10th birthday coming next month, it's got to look its best.
So Uncle Ibrahim is now giving the exterior its annual coat of paint.
It really is a big job but it needs doing and once it's finished our Happy House will be sparkling in the sun again!
If you would like to make a donation to help towards the cost of painting and other work essential to our upkeep, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/childrenofwatamu
Abdulmalik took centre stage to lead the singing of one of Mama's favourite hymns at Happy House Kidz Club.He did a great job leading the action for "My heart is full and running over". There were also two birthdays to celebrate - Johnny who has reached 18 and Nickson who has just turned seven. Happy birthday boys.
Volunteer Fiona Lockyer has been teaching the children a new clapping song.They performed the song, along with the actions, for the rest of the family at Kidz Club.It's a bit of tongue twister but the children took it in their stride! Very kindly, Fiona treated everyone to a crunchy apple for snack time . Apples cost more to buy than locally produced fruits so they are a luxury for our family. Thank you Auntie Fiona.
Happy House will be 10 years old next month.
It's hard to believe how far it's come and how many children's lives have been changed in that time.
So if if there were ever a cause for a party, this is it.
In this video our inspirational founder, Mama Sue, invites you join in!
A bright and happy boy, Brian has been a part of our Happy House family since 2014.
He had been through a traumatic time before coming to live with us but soon settled in knowing that he was safe and loved.
Growing up in such a big family means he has lots of "brothers" and "sisters" and he is always ready to help out when needed.
The love of our Happy House family is its very foundation.
It was built on love - that of Mama Sue, Papa Dave and of all those people who supported their dream to make it a reality.
is the love that touches hearts of all those who visit as Malinda Rees and her sister Catherine Cooper discovered.
Melinda is a manager at the luxury hotel, Hemingways in Watamu, and prior to that worked at Turtle Bay Hotel where she was the wedding coordinator.
It was she who helped plan a wonderful wedding for Fiona Lockyer and her late husband,
Fiona , volunteering at Happy House, was delighted to meet up with Melinda again and to meet her sister Catherine, who is on holiday from Australia where she works as a midwife and where her daughter, Kate, is in training.
They visited the Happy House for the first time and where shown around by Papa Dave - our Number 1 tour guide!
Fiona introduces the video.
There was lots of fun and laughter as our kids got crafty with the help of volunteer Fiona Lockyer. At Saturday morning craft time at Happy House Fiona was showing them how to make colourful pom-poms made from wool.One of the older kids, Baraka, was assisting by cutting out the shapes needed so more of the younger ones could have go.
Mama and Papa are thrilled to have more old friends visiting Watamu and Happy House.Marc and Thalia Venturi, from Saltdean, near Brighton, were welcomed at Kidz Club when they also learnt the secret of our healthy, fast growing kids.Mama and Papa put it down to Moringa Tea which the children have ever day.It's made from leaves of a plant which grows wild in our gardens and which is full of many important vitamins and minerals. The leaves have seven times more vitamin C than oranges and 15 times more potassium than bananas. It also has calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids, which help your body heal and build muscle.
Some of our pre primary children were enjoying sports when volunteer Fiona Lockyer arrived at Happy House School. They were preparing for the upcoming inter-schools competitions and Fiona was invited to join in and spend some time with the youngsters and getting to know them better..
Over the next few weeks she will assisting our teachers by helping pupils with their reading and language skills.
Saturday morning was an arty and crafty time for our children at Happy House.With four teachers there to give them a hand, the kids had a wonderful time working on some fabulous projects including hand prints, making butterflies and paper boats and heart shaped mobiles.Janet presents this video.
Snap happy that's our Grade 1 children at Happy House School. Their teacher, Md Esther, took them out into the school grounds for a lesson in photography.The children were shown how to take photographs on the android tablets we use as learning aids, and then had a great time photographing the plants, flowers and, on occasions, each other!
Volunteers do much to assist our family at the Happy House in so many ways.Each brings his or her own set of skills and talents and in coming to spend time helping our family gives us the most precious gift - their time.Fiona Lockyer, and old friend of Happy House who has visited many times, is now spending eight weeks volunteering in our home and in school.Here she is introduced by Mama Sue.
We love to welcome friends to Happy House and January is bringing us lots of visitors.Angela Lewis, from Somerset and her friend David Paris, from Kent, were welcomed by Mama, Papa and the family.They brought with them so lovely things for their sponsor children. David, who sponsors Abdulmalik and David, and Angela, who sponsors Esther, Neema and James, brought lovely gifts for their children. And their visit coincides with Esther's birthday. She's just turned eight!Also arrived is Fiona Lockyer, a good friend who has visited many times, who is going to be spending eight weeks volunteering with our family. Fiona also brought gifts for her sponsor children, Daudi, Hussein and Stephano. We are delighted to see Angela, David and Fiona again and wish them a very happy time.
It is never easy to be asked to choose a winner - specially when both teams really try their best. But that's just what Happy House asked of visitors Chris Franklin and Caroline le Bourgeois at Kidz Club.They were asked to choose the winners of a song and dance contest between the girls and the boys.Here's Chris, a trustee of Children of Watamu charity, announcing the girls as the winners and a clip of their performance. Kidz Club also celebrated two birthdays - Esther has just turned eight and Katana who is now 15. Caroline presented them with their gifts.
Children growing up in the Happy House family know the importance of being polite.They are reminded to use their nice words, to says please and thank you, and to be courteous to those they meet.Mama Sue held a group session to underline the need to be polite to ensure that children who have joined our school family this term know what's expected of them and why.
It was a hugely emotional day for Mama Sue when three of her Happy House kids went to enrol at university.
Janet, who was one of the very first children to join our family when we opened in 2010, and two of our first scholarship kids, Nasri and Gabriel, went to Malindi together to sign up for online degree courses with Mount Kenya University.
They will have the support of the Mama and the Happy House family they love, the value so highly as they progress on their chosen career paths.
And they all aim to help take the Happy House forward, to help continue and perpetuate Mama's work.
They are Generation Happy House and we are so, so, proud of them.
When Mama Sue had to make the tough decision to close our Happy House Secondary School she wanted to ensure that our those youngsters living in our care or on scholarships would have the best Government school education available.This led her to Canon Mweri Secondary School and that is where these young people started the new academic year earlier this month.Now she has been to visit them in school and as you can see they have settled in very nicely, enjoying the challenge of a new educational environment and making new friends - whilst also having the continued support of the Happy House School, its teachers and facilities.Canon Mweri School is well ordered, is well equipped and is, so far, proving an excellent option.
* Our secondary school sadly closed because we couldn't enrol a sufficient number of fee-paying pupils to make viable and to help support the education of those on free places.We had hoped that parents, so thrilled with the high standard of education their children had received in primary school with us, would move them up into our secondary school. But sadly that wasn't the case and they have followed the traditional path of putting their kids into boarding school at 14. The secondary school building is being used to provide even more space and new specialist areas of learning for our very busy Happy House primary school family.
Lloyd Wray who has been visiting Happy House with his wife, Judith, has been delighted and amazed by what he has seen.In this video he explains how he finds our charity founder and the driving force of the Happy House both inspired and inspirational and of the attributes that have enabled her to bring her vision of a home for needy children followed by a school into a reality.
The Happy House has come to life for Judith and Lloyd Wray.Friends of our charity for so long, they have watched it progress from the start of build to the thriving home and school it is today.From their homes first in Blackpool, and now Leicester, they have kept up to date with blog, seen the videos, but for Judith that was never enough. She wanted to see it for herself, and now she has felt its warmth and experienced the happiness of our children it really is a dream come true.Back in Leicester, their church and their friends supported their trip - donating money for them to bring for our family.They bought some materials for the art room, but the rest has been used to buy groceries for our family - enough for a whole four weeks!Thank you to everyone who contributed, we are truly grateful.
Sponsoring a child is a lovely thing to do and, at Happy House, we are so fortunate to have so many wonderful friends who take their sponsor children into their hearts. Judith Wray is in the sponsor family of our beautiful Elizabeth Hayward and also sponsors scholarship student, Agnes. At Kidz Club, Judith had the opportunity to have a long chat with both children and to get to know them even better. We are so grateful to all those people who sponsor, like Judith, and we always need more sponsors for our children. It costs £20 a month to sponsor a child. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
There was a sing off between the girls and boys at Happy House Kidz Club when Judith and Lloyd Wray were our special guests.
Both choirs gave it their very best shot but it was down to Lloyd to choose the winner! It was a tough choice. Here we have videos of the decision and the winning performance.
Apples are a real treat for our children at Happy House. They are one of the most expensive fruits to buy so it is not often that we have them, depending instead on the cheaper and more plentiful fruits. Thanks to Judith and Lloyd Wray every child enjoyed a juicy apple at Kidz Club. Delicious! Thank you Judith and Lloyd.
There was another special day for our special visitors Judith and Lloyd Wray.
And our whole family was waiting to greet them when Papa Dave drove them through the gates of Happy House to be guests of honour at Kidz Club.
There was lots planned for them, as we will be showing you in the next couple of days, but first there was a chance to meet all the children and to enjoy a piece of cake, made in their honour!
Happy House always gives a big welcome to friends.When they travels o far to visit our family, we want to make them feel at home and to know how much we care.Our children put on a programme of songs of praise for our guests, Judith and Lloyd Wray, from Leicester.Here are some of their songs.
Mama Sue first met Judith Wray in 2009 when she had been invited to speak about her plans to build her Happy House at the Open Door Project in Blackpool.Judith, a deacon of the methodist Church, led the celebration. They were so impressed they wanted to sponsor a child with members of the group contributing towards the monthly cost.In the years since, the Open Door "uncles and aunties" have become very dear to our heart, caring as they do for their sponsor child.In 2012, when Judith's ministry in Blackpool came to an end and she and her husband, Lloyd, moved to Leicester, Mama, Papa and auntie Libby were delighted to be at guests at a celebration in her honour.Judith and Lloyd have always kept in touch, sponsoring children , and now Judith has achieved her long-held dream of seeing the Happy House for herself.Mama, Papa and the family are delighted to see Judith and Lloyd them and Mama invited Judith to say a prayer to start the week.
There was a birthday double to celebrate at Kidz Club at the Happy House this week. Neema has just turned seven and Hussein is four.Hussein is pictured with Harry, while Neema is pictured with Steve.They each received gifts and greetings from the whole family.Happy birthday children.
Saying it with Stiches
The wonderful ladies from Say it with Stitches raised £703 for Happy House over the Christmas period by selling the lovely items they handcraft at craft fairs and through private sales and donations. Patricia Beechey, a former head teacher, and her friend, Anna (pictured), enjoy crafting and use their skills to help our family by selling the things they make at craft fairs around their home area of Surrey .They also distribute leaflets about Happy House to promote the work of our charity. We are extremely grateful to the for their loyal and continued support. Every penny raised will go towards making life brighter for our children.Thank you Pat, Anna and all those who contributed to your magnificent total.