Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas & A Happy Healthy 2010

Dave & I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and definitely healthy New Year.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in so many ways from bungi jumping to baking cakes. All those of you who sponsor children at school, the difference that makes to a child and their family is amazing. To all of you have been kind enough to arrange standing orders for the Happy House Kids. These generous payments have made it possible for us to finish and furnish the Happy House ready for the children to come 'home' We are determined to be open for the first children at the beginning of February. The 'official' opening is the 17th of March and we are delighted so many of you are making the journey to Watamu to join in the celebrations and meet our children.
The first 40 ft. container has today cleared customs on Mombasa docks and is ready to make the final 2 hour journey by road to the Happy House. It is packed to the doors with everything so many of you have purchased or donated from clothes, medical equipment, to cooking equipment and beds. The second container set sail on the 21st of December and will be in Watamu by the middle of January.
Thank you to everyone for caring,
Love & best wishes,
Sue Dave & The Children of Watamu xxx

Friday, 11 December 2009

Grandpa Caught Napping


It has been due to the kindness and generosity of Grandpa Yaa that we have been able to build the Happy House. Grandpa and his family donated to the charity 4 acres of land and legally signed a 99 year lease. 90 year old Grandpa has been a constant visitor to the site over the past year, but yesterday Silas caught him napping. I have pictures of Grandpa painting, pushing a wheel barrow, gardening but this is the best one ever. A  very well deserved rest Grandpa xx

The Happy House is Nearly Finished

I am thrilled and delighted to say the Happy House is just about complete. The plumbers and electricians have finished, the painters have some finishing touches to do. The kitchen and shower rooms are finished.The  container was due in Mombasa this week but due to a delay will now arrive on the 14th of December.
We intend to be ready for the first children to come 'home' by the beginning of February. The official opening day is the 17th of March 2010. I am very moved that so many people intend to come out to Watamu to join in the celebrations. I will be very proud to show off the very first Happy House Kids 2010.

St John's Wood Community School, Knutsford, Cheshire


Holly Fowlkes, School Business Manager, contacted me before she went to Kenya on holiday in August.  She was very keen to find out how her special school could help the Happy House Project so I arranged for Silas Karisa to meet her and take her to see the Happy House.   When she returned to the UK, Holly's family decided to sponsor a child and then she asked the School Council at St John's Wood to do the same.


Dave and I visited the school in November 2009. We were made to feel so welcome by Mike Burgess, the Headteacher and Sally Clayton, the Deputy Head. The pupils were touched when they heard what a difference their money could make and are looking forward to receiving regular updates about the progress of "their" Happy House Kid!


The School Council was delighted to present us with a cheque for £240.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Chichester High School for Girls

I received an email from Jayne Davidson at Chichester Girls High School with the great news that they were planning to support the Happy House. This is what Jayne had to say.
Year 7 at Chichester High School for Girls worked together
to raise money for the Children of Watamu. We decided to
support this charity following the visit of one of our
pupils to Kenya. Alicia produced a powerpoint to show the
rest of Year 7 in assembly which left a few of us feeling
very emotional and understanding why this was such a good
We designated two of our non school uniform days to this,
with pupils making a donation in order to wear their own
clothes. Each form then chose another way to raise some
money such as washing the cars of the staff ( which was very
popular), running a table top sale and performing a dance.

We managed to raise almost £450. As Head of Year 7 I was
extremely proud of every one of the girls and very thankful
for the support of their form tutors.It is always good to
remember that what we may take for granted is an unecessary
luxury for others.
Mrs Davidson
Head of Learning and Transition Yr7
Thank you to all concerned your help is greatly needed and truly appreciated,
Sue & The Children

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Educational DVD's

We have had the promise of a plasma screen television with combined DVD player for the Happy House Kids. So now we need educational DVD's that can stimulate and interest our children. I am sure children learn easier by a lovely bright yellow talking teddy telling that this is a triangle and the colour is red.  It will also help our House Mothers to work with the children, as they have never experienced such learning techniques.

We also need children's clocks and wastebins for the bedrooms

 Please ask your children to help our children.

Thank you all for caring.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Water Tower

This is the water tower that is being erected  to get the water to the toilets, showers and gardens. The water is from a well we sunk at the begining of the work in August 2008. The water is free, unfortunately, we need a pump to get it from A to B. There's always a catch isn't there?

Monday, 16 November 2009

Fantastic Night

The charity Race Night was a resounding success. Over 100 people came to support us. Elizabeth Gomm the Womens editor from the Blackpool Gazette Newspaper spoke of how being a sponsor had changed her life and encouraged others to do the same. Brian Abrahams , Stephanie Hill and Louise Webster also explained what and enriching experience it is to be a sponsor. Lynn McCluskey worked tirelessly organizing the tombola, Lynn's Lucky Dip, the raffle and auction.

7 children now have sponsors. Brian Abrahams plus Jill and Mick Armstrong already sponsor but decided to add another child to their 'family' People also bought from our Wish List and received a certificate to give as a present to a loved one. A total of 85 chickens were purchased, plus ducks, goats, cows, fruit trees and bags of seed. Jayne & Steve Dent, Geoffrey Readshaw, Chris & Ken Goddard, Doug & Laura Hare, Simon Emmett and Karen Brown all made very generous donations.

If we could raise £3,500 on the one event the Abbey Bank would make a matched donation. I am thrilled and delighted to tell you all that a terrific £7,900 was raised!!! With the matched donation it makes a total £11,400 for the Happy House. What a difference this amount of money will make to our work for the  future Happy House Kids.

I sincerely thank one and all for your fantastic support and generosity.

Love Sue & The Kids xx

Saturday, 7 November 2009

An Important Date for your Diaries

On Saturday the 14th of November we will be holding our main Charity Night of the year. If we can raise £3,500 on the one event the Abbey Bank will make a matched donation, and we desperately need the funds to complete that Happy House ready to open in January 2010, so we really need the support of everyone.
We are organizing a Horse Racing Night at the Sheraton Hotel Queens Promenade Blackpool. The hotel has been kind enough to offer a special rate for our supporters of £20 per person bed & breakfast. The telephone number is 0800 317 295 or 01253 352723. The tickets are £10 each and will include a Hot Pot supper, sandwiches and a vegetarian option.
We have great raffle prizes from weekends away to beauty treatments and photographic sessions worth over £300, plus much more. 
Please come and join us, think of our kids and how desperate we are to get them safe.
Tickets can be ordered from Sue, 01253 352430.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

So Close to Completion

The building work on the Happy House is very nearly complete. The seating is being built in the reception ready for us to to put cushions on, covered with the material bought from Swatchbox at a very reasonable price to match the curtains that they are donating for all the Happy House windows.

The garden in the courtyard is looking lovely. The electrician has nearly finished, the doors and windows are almost complete and the painters are on the last lap. It has cost more than we anticipated to finish but it is gorgeous, as my Dad used to say 'We can't spoil the ship for a hapeth of tar! ' When the container arrives and we can put the beds into the rooms, and all the other items that have been donated into their place, I feel that we will be breathing life into this beautiful building ready for the children to come 'home'

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Container is on it's way

A container full to the brim with items for the Happy House left Blackpool yesterday on the start of it's  journey to Watamu. Kenya. East Africa.
Everything needed for the Happy House Kids from beds and bedding, to clothes, nappies, cots, prams, even plasters are in that container. Everything has either been bought or donated by so many generous people. I thank each and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart, but most of all a big thank you from the Happy House Kids who will benefit from all this love and kindness.
A special thank you to Linda Stubbs of Stubbs Removals Blackpool, for the free storage space over the past year. Linda has been so kind and helpful, nothing has ever been too much trouble.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Clear Blue Skies Group S.L. Estate Agents Tenerife

Dave & I have had an apartment in Tenerife for quite a few years and as part of our plan to move to Watamu permanently decided to put it on the market. As we all know things are not selling, but due the professionalism of Paul Stokes and the team at Clear Blue Skies the sale went through without a hitch in two weeks.
Alan, Paul's father in law, who is also very involved in the business has been looking for a charity to support and I am delighted say after talking things through with myself and Dave, Alan has  decided on The Children of Watamu. Alan, kindly donated 3,450 Euros that has been raised by the staff. The money has been used to buy equipment for the medical room in the Happy House. Many of you will remember how sad we all were when Tenti  died last year aged 7, I have decided to call the medical room
 ' Tenti's Place '  in memory of him. We must prevent more children dying unnecessarily and with the help of the management and staff of Clear Blue Skies this is what we will achieve.
This is an extract from an email Alan sent to the staff.
  The Big Clear Blue Challenge                         children Of Watamu
As you are probably aware, we gave 3450 Euros recently to the charity Children of Watamu, collected by us through our contribution after each deal. We have decided to adopt this charity as our nominated charity for 2009 / 2010 and on your behalf, I have accepted a challenge on your behalf to raise 10,000 Euros to provide them with a minibus, by 4th July 2010.
Already through our 100 Euros per deal contribution, we have allocated nearly 2000 Euros, and I expect we will raise several thousand more by the time we get to next July, however if we are to meet the challenge, we will have to raise at least 5000 Euros through other methods. So thinking caps on, begging bowls out, and let's meet the challenge
Thank you to all of you at Clear Blue Skies for caring about the Happy House Kids

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Happy House Veggies.

At the Happy House we intend to be as self sufficient as possible.
Earlier in the year around an acre of the land was cleared and the planting started. As of this month we have harvested 130kgs of maize and lots of lovely cabbages, tomatoes, aubergines and other local vegetables that are being taken to school daily to be used for lunches.
The fruit trees are also growing well. We are looking forward to the fresh bananas, mangos and passion fruits.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

An Important Date for your Diaries

On Saturday the 14th of November we will be holding our main Charity Night of the year. If we can raise £3,500 on the one event the Abbey Bank will make a matched donation, and we desperately need the funds to complete that Happy House ready to open in January 2010, so we really need the support of everyone.
We are organizing a Horse Racing Night at the Sheraton Hotel Queens Promenade Blackpool. The hotel has been kind enough to offer a special rate for our supporters of £20 per person bed & breakfast. The telephone number is 0800 317 295 or 01253 352723. The tickets are £10 each and will include a Hot Pot supper, sandwiches and a vegetarian option.
We have great raffle prizes from weekends away to beauty treatments and photographic sessions worth over £300, plus much more. An auction will also take place.
Please come and join us, think of our kids and how desperate we are to get them safe.
Tickets can be ordered from Sue, 01253 352430.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Water Babies

The kitchen and shower rooms are taking shape. We are waiting for the sinks and toilets to be installed. The water will be supplied from a well, that was sunk as one of the first jobs that had to done when we started  bulding the Happy House a year and 3 weeks ago. Free water, just how we like it! All we need now is a pump to get it from the well up into the roof tanks, and to pump the water from the underground collection tanks up. There's always a snag isn't there?? 

To Top It All

The roof in now in place, the celings are being put in the upstairs bedrooms, we are moving closer by the day to being ready for the children in for January 2010.

Louise Gary & Grace Webster visit the Happy House

Louise has supported our work for the children in many ways over the years. During their recent holiday to Turtle Bay Beach Club Louise helped Rose to make a new notice board to be displayed in the hotel. Silas & Rose were delighted to take Gary, Louise & Grace to see the Happy House for themselves. Louise was the very first person to decide to sponsor one of the Happy House Kids.Since then others have followed suit to enable us to finish & furnish the Happy House ready for the first children to come 'home' in January 2010. This is what Louise had to say:-
"As  the first sponsors of the Happy House children, we visited Watamu recently and were amazed to see first hand what has been achieved. You really need to see the Happy House to appreciate how beautiful and tranquil the place is. Sue and Dave, you never fail to amaze us with what has been achieved. We look forward to going back one day to see all the beautiful children playing there."

Friday, 11 September 2009

Add a Happy House Kid to your Shopping List

Jackie Fineman  is great support to our work in so many ways. Jackie and her daughter Hayley both sponsor Happy House children. Jackie and her family have done sponsored bike rides to raise the much needed funds to complete the Happy House  so we can be ready to open to the first children in January 2010. I had mentioned to Jackie how we are going to start a scheme in conjunction with the Blackpool Gazette Eve in Africa Appeal to Add a Happy House Kid to your Shopping List in the hope that people will each week buy one item that is so needed for the children. Jackie took me at my word and called in today with lots of toiletries, potties, vests, toothbrushes lotions and potions to keep our babies sweet.
Hayley is also very instrumental in sending letters and brochures to electrical companies in the hope they will donate funds or items that will be needed in the Happy House.
Can you add a child to your shopping list?

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Kosy Kids

It was so nice to receive a call from Bernie Brannagan so say that she had crocheted 10 cot blankets for the Happy House Babies.I had never met Bernie but she had been speaking to  Andrea Manders who has also made blankets for the children. How nice is it that people are now talking about my children and even better that they are 'Making a Difference' to their comfort.

Thanks for Caring

Dorothy & George Barr are two of the nicest people I have ever met.
 They have sponsored Martin one of the boys at school for a number of years. Silas was delighted to meet them during his trip  to the UK.
Dorothy is now also supporting the Happy House Kids by buying items that will be needed when we open in January. Nappies, Baby Wipes etc. I am thrilled to say that Dorothy, who is 83 years old, will be travelling to Watamu in March 2010 with her niece Beverly and family, who also sponsor at school and the Happy House, to be at  the official opening of the  Happy House on March the 17th 2010.
 Elizabeth Gomm a journalist from the Blackpool Gazette who is a terrific support to me personally,and our work in so many ways and Brenda Groves a very active and caring sponsor have also added a Happy House Kid to their weekly shopping list. Can you??
You can also follow Elizabeth's blog by logging onto and clicking on the Eve in Africa Appeal logo on the left had side of the screen.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Curtains for our Kids

Bob Lees recently contacted me with regard to supplying all the curtains needed for the Happy House Kids, this is what he had to say:-

I can't quite fathom how Children of Watamu got such a hold on me so quickly. Historically I wouldn't describe myself as a particularly good neighbour, never mind 'charitable'. I don't watch the big charity day things on the telly, and in fact the 'big' charities just don't seem to do anything for me.


Children of Watamu have unique appeal through being a small charity and locally based, and in that 100% of the money raised goes straight to the kids. It feels more worthwhile because you feel part of it and you know your individual contribution represents a far greater proportion of the whole than if you were giving to one of the charity giants.

And then of course there's Sue and Dave. What they've achieved is both humbling and uplifting. You feel involved, and you want to be a part of it because of the vibrancy you can feel.
My nephew is 21 and at a bit of a loose end as, probably, most new graduates are. I suggested he considered doing a bit of charity work to use his time fruitfully and to improve his CV. He described the phone call to Sue as 'the biggest of his life', she gave him motivation and from then on we were all hooked!

That's why we at SwatchBox are calling in your old, unwanted mobile phones. They will be sent off to be recycled, and the money we get for them will be used to buy the material and make, at cost price, the 60 pairs of curtains Sue needs for the Happy House .

At the same time old mobiles won't be going into landfill, so it's doing a bit for the planet too. 

Sue is inspirational, but as a newcomer to all this, I'm struck at how rewarding helping her charity makes me feel.  In particular it's exciting how quickly things seem to happen. 

'That's because it's right' said Sue.  

Then a chance phone call, a shrewd piece of advice from Blackpool Gazette journalist Elizabeth Gomm and Melinda Messenger agreed to back what we are doing to help the Happy House... posing for pictures to show it!

Must be because it's right, hey Sue?

*Please search out your old, unwanted mobile phones, and chargers, and just drop them into your nearest SwatchBox. We'll do the rest!


Swatchbox stores at:


25/27 Mesnes Rd, Wigan, WN1 2DG. Tel 01942 824001

374 Talbot Rd, Blackpool, FY3 7AT Tel 01253 392665

32 Harrowside, Blackpool, FY4 1LY Tel 01253 404487 

502/504 Blackburn Rd, Bolton, BL1 8NW Tel 01204 300178

4/6 Buxton Rd, Stockport, SK2 6NU Tel 0161 477 5603


Bob Lees.






Saturday, 22 August 2009

100 Beds for the Happy House Kids

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Ian Bradburn from Brad Europe Limited our Happy House Kids will definately be able to go to sleep in a bed and wake up to a breakfast.

Ian has donated 100 brand new beds with matresses, 600 sheets, 300 pillow cases, 300 towels, 100 beach towels and 100 fleece blankets.

Thank you just doesn't sound enough to say to Ian for this fantastic gift towards equipping the Happy House for our children to come home in January 2010.


Sorry for the delay in updating the blog but as you can see I am at a slight disadvantage at the moment!! 

Monday, 10 August 2009

Message from Michelle Aspinall

I first came across Sue's fantastic work whilst reading the Lancashire Life at the hairdressers detailing her 'Lancashire Woman of the Year Award'. I had been looking for a charity to be involved with abroad that our family can get first hand experience of when we go travelling next year for 3 months. Children Of Watamu seemd to tick all the boxes, there is a very personal sponsorship scheme so you can actually meet your child when you visit Watamu, and they actively encourage people to go out there and help. We will do whatever is requested when we visit next year, helping out in the orphange-cooking and cleaning, tending to the gardens, playing sports and games with the children, it will be such a privelege just to be there. 
I approached Joyce, owner of Heaton House nursery, where all my three children have been, to see if she could help and she very generously donated £100 and is going to use Children of Watamu as their charity of the year next year. They are going to buy a mixture of cow, goats, ducks and chickens and do a display in nursery of the charity and all the animals they have bought- bringing in teaching of counting, letters, colours and of course introducing the idea of children less fortunate. It will be such a good topic of conversation for children and staff and of course parents..
Heaton House has provided my children with a fantastic start in life, making a significant contribution to the happy, caring children they are today. It mirrors what Sue and Dave are trying to give the children in Watamu- that safe and warm environment and good start in life.
My husband, Ed and I wish to raise many more funds before we go next year. I am hoping to get some more sponsorships from my employer, Salford Royal Hospitals and through the kids school, aswell as family and friends. We are also talking of doing a triathlon aswell, which will be a big challenge!
Thank you Michelle for your kind words. 



Thursday, 30 July 2009

Let There Be light

The electricians are now  busy putting the wiring into the Happy House.
Did he get that ladder from B & Q do you think?

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Looking Good

Everytime I see the Happy House I think it really didn't look this big on paper!!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Oh Happy Days

Since I posted pictures of the Happy House on the 14th of July, so much has changed in such a short  space of time. The outside is now being painted. The electricity is being installed and the top rooms are ready for the roof to be put in place. I have emailed Silas and Dixon the builder with ideas for inside regarding the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.
 People in Watamu have never seen such a beautiful place for children. Many local people feel part of the Happy House. It has been a community project. We have only used local people for all the construction work. Since work started in the last week of August 2009 we have never had to stop for a day. Thank you all so much much for your generosity and support .As always, I have to say, so much more is still needed. We need beds, tables, chairs, so much for so many. I intend to have all the items made locally, again supporting the local community, but first the money needs to be raised. Things such as bedding, cots, high chairs & pushchairs we need to send out as they are not readily available. Mums in Watamu carry their babies on their backs until they can walk, sleep with them and feed them on their knee. With so many children to care for we will need help to care for our babies.
The monthly standing orders people have arranged are our life line to completion. When the first children come home in January 2010 they will be introduced to their sponsors via email and pictures. I am going to create a memory box for each child, with pictures and information regarding themselves but also of their sponsor who has been caring for them. As we send the sponsor details of their child we want the sponsor to send  updates of their life and family with pictures and letters. When the child is old enough to read and write he/she will be able to open their box and know someone really does care. They are not alone in this world. PLEASE become part of a child's life. For £4.61p per week you can give a child a future to look forward to. Please ring or email me for further details, we need you help.  01253 352430  07536058211

The Maize is Amazing

Some of the children from school check  out the maize growing at the Happy House to see if it is ready for school lunches.
Not yet Kids!!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Lytham High School are Travelling Home Today

I know there will be many sad faces today as the treachers and students from Lytham High School leave Watamu for Mombassa Airport on the first stage of their journey home.
What a fantastic two weeks it has been for my children and teachers,  also the teachers and students from Lytham. It has been a very caring sharing experience for all concerned. Lytham brought a laboratory and 10 keyboards.They introduced our children to many aspects of  music, science,  drama,  art, sport and design. Our children gave them a welcome second to none, and amazed everyone by being so bright and eager to learn.Laughter music and singing could be heard everywhere.
The picture shows the students and teachers visiting the Happy House, they were amazed how much has been achieved, and I know they are travelling home with intentions of sponsoring Happy House children and of course returning to Watamu.
Thank you all for being there your help and support is greatly needed and truly appreciated.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Happy House is beautiful

These are some of the  latest pictures of the Happy House. All the doors and windows are in, most of the floors are laid, the roof is ready to go on. The kitchen is being built.It is so exciting!!
I am determined to open in January 2010 come hell or high water. We still need more money, but I suppose we always will with so much to do for so many children. Many people have been kind enough to sponsor one of the future Happy House Kids, at the moment that money is a tremendous help in helping to to finish and furnish, but we need so much more.
During my recent visit with Elizabeth Gomm from the Blackpool Gazette Newspaper she saw for herself the children who are sleeping rough and begging for food or a few shillings just to survive.Some days it was raining very heavy and the children were hiding in the undergrowth just to try and keep dry. This is 2009 how can this is happening?? We must open the Happy House and give these children a chance of survival. Please help me ......

Is this how your children survive?

The sun doesn't always shine in Watamu. These pictures show children just trying to cross a road. This water becomes stagnant and full of infections and mosquitoes.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Elizabeth Meets Grandpa Yaa & enjoys a fresh coconut

Elizabeth was thrilled to meet Grandpa Yaa, and Grandpa never known for being camera shy insisted on a picture. He also asked one of his grandsons to cut a fresh coconut from a Happy House tree for Elizabeth to try.

Eve in Africa Appeal

I am so grateful to Elizabeth Gomm the Womens Editor at the Blackpool Gazette for joining me on my latest trip to Watamu to see how the money raised by people on the Fylde Coast has made a difference to the Happy House.
We met up wth the fantastic students from Lytham High who have had the most fantastic week in our schools.
Elizabeth has written fantastic blog throughout the 2 weeks she has been in Watamu. Please follow this link to read all the news. Follow the Eve in Africa link on the left hand side of the page. The students from Lytham will be keeping the blog going on Elizabeths site for the next week.

Singleton Primary School Make a Splash

 Class 3 of Singleton Primary School  held a sponsored water bucket carry around the school field and have managed to raise approximately £500.
The event was organised by Teaching Assistant Karen Hamadi. Thirtytwo children from Class 3 along with staff and some of Karen's friends took part.
Each child had to carry a bucket of water on five laps of the school field.  There were a few sore arms the following day but we think the children have become more aware that others are not as fortunate as themselves and do not have the luxury of just turning a tap on and getting water whenever they like.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Louise takes the Children of Watamu to the Brownies

Louise Anderson who took our work for the children to Lytham High School from Heyhouse's Primary School, now has gone one step further and introduced our children to her Rainbow/Brownie Group

Louise is pictured here with some of the children who have raised £54 by making a silver snake in 5p's.