Friday, 31 January 2020

Friends arrive

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.






















Thursday, 30 January 2020

Decisions, decisions!

 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.


















Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Nice words are so important

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.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Generation Happy House

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.



Monday, 27 January 2020

Settling into a new school

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.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Inspired and inspirational

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.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Gift of groceries


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.


Friday, 24 January 2020

Meeting her sponsor children

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 elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net


Thursday, 23 January 2020

Sing off

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.






Wednesday, 22 January 2020

An apple for everyone

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.


Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Another special day

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!






Monday, 20 January 2020

New classroom in use

Students at Happy House School are enjoying learning in the new classroom reserved for use of iPads and android tablets. Here a lesson on water is in session with Md Esther and Grade 2 Primary.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Songs for friends

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.



















Saturday, 18 January 2020

Welcome Judith and Lloyd


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.























Friday, 17 January 2020

Birthday greetings

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.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

All About Me: Rukia

Today, Rukia is featured in our All About Me series. She was one of the first children to come into our care when the Happy House opened in 2010. She was later joined by her younger brother Saidi. The children's grandmother, who lives in Malindi, was unable to care for them but she has never failed to visit them when she can and they enjoy going on short stays with her.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

All About Me: Jacinta

Bright and happy, Jacinta is grasping the opportunities offered to her by being a part of our family at the Happy House. She and her sister, Florence, had experienced tragedy and hardship before they were brought into our care. Jacinta loves school, has many friends and enjoys helping out at home.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

All About Me: Diana

Diana joined our Happy house family in May 2016 together with her siblings, John, then 14, and Daudi, then 5. The children went into the care of their maternal grandmother following the death of their mum. Later ,after their grandmother had fallen sick and was unable to look after them, they’d been found on the streets and put in a rescue centre in Mombasa. they had been there for a year when they came into our care and since that time their lives have been transformed.

Monday, 13 January 2020

All About Me: Priscilla

Priscilla had experienced few of the joys of childhood before coming to our Happy House almost four years ago. Then aged nine, she was referred to us by a care home in Malindi where she had been for two years after a very difficult start in life, She now radiates confidence and is a happy child and eager scholar at school and loves being a part of our big and happy family.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Room of their own

There is now a dedicated room at Happy House School where students are able to use the android tablets and iPads that we have bought from donations received. They are a hugely valuable resource, additional to the wonderfully equipped computer suite, helping children, from the very young upwards, in developing IT skills, sharing and searching for information, and creativity. We have found how useful they are, too, in motivating students in their studies. Mr Hamisi, our headteacher, presents this video.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

New term starts on a high

Happy House students who sat their national examinations, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, at the end of last term all did really well. As always, Happy House netted some great results which we are hopeful will see us recognised as one of the top-performing schools in the area when that league table is announced. Here our head teacher, Mr Hamisi, tells you about the results. He is speaking in the lovely new staff room - part of a a move around during the long holiday. To all our exam candidates, well done, and to those who taught them, encouraged them and of course to those wonderful friends of our charity who sponsor children - thank you.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Back to School

After a 10-week holiday, it is back to school for children in Kenya. And the first day at Happy House School saw an influx of new pupils ready to join those returning for another year. Our school educates all the children living in our care, plus others who have been in care but who are now back living with relatives, plus we take some fee-paying students to help support our not-for-profit school. Running a school the size of HappY house is a huge undertaking for a small charity which also has a full-time children's home to run. It's always good to see local parents wanting to bring their children into our school knowing that it will give them the best education available locally. Here Mr Hamisi, headteacher, speaks about the new term.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Teachers meet our new band

During the long school holiday, children living at Happy House have been exploring their talents. At the suggestion of Mama Sue, they went out on a mission to source locally made musical instruments so they could form their own percussion band. And just before Happy House School was preparing to open for a new term, Mama Sue invited the children to show their teacher what they learnt. The new band, joined by the girls choir, put on a lovely show and asked the teachers to join in.






































Wednesday, 8 January 2020

New art room opens

Developing artistic talents in pupils attending Happy House School will be made more exciting by the opening of a dedicated art room. From this term, teachers and students will be able use the new facility which will be a big asset to our school. With school opening this week, Mama invited the teachers in to take a look at the art room and all the equipment so kindly donated. We always need more, so if you are travelling to Watamu to visit it would be wonderful if you could find some room in your suitcase for some arts and crafts supplies.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Janet joins our team

From Happy House kid to a member of staff- that's our Janet. Janet, who finished school in October, is working with Mama and her admin team and alongside our social worker, Uncle Ronald, as the start of her career path which, she hopes, will lead to her becoming a social worker. Janet was one of the first children to join our Happy house family in 2010, along with her younger brothers Evans and Oscar. She has lived in care, benefited from loving sponsors, and is now one of our team. We wish her every success.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Home visits

Maintaining strong bonds between children in our care and their blood relatives has always been important in our Happy House family. Obviously, in some cases, it is not possible but where it is we go to great lengths to ensure our children know their family members and go on short visits in the school holidays. An auntie, grandparent or parent may not be in a position to have a child or children permanently at home but they welcome the chance to be reunited in the holidays. Here Stephano, Jessica and Purity are leaving for a short visit to the home of their aunt who has come to collect them.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Helping in the garden

During the long school holiday our kids at Happy House have been helping around the house and garden. In this video Husna tells us about her team of young gardeners who are helping our outdoor staff to prepare the land for new crops. We grow as much of our own food as we can, and extra hands are always a great help!