Monday, 31 May 2010

Water Water Everywhere !!

After torrential rain we have ponds and pools everywhere, I called Dixon the builder to ask what can be done to channel the water away from the building. Outside the kitchen door is like a swimming pool. He said the answer is to dig two underground tanks for the rain water, one at the back the other at the front.  How much will that cost ?? Around £500 per tank. I felt really down, more unexpected expense, we seem to go two steps forward and one back. We will definately have to start the one at the back as that is the worst area. During the rainy season we cannot have water just laid or it becomes a breeding ground for the mosquitoes we must get it away to keep the children safe.

A New Happy House Family

On Friday our ducklings hatched and Mum has been keeping a close watch on them. Today she let us see her new family. There are eight babies, all looking healthy. Magic if here finishing the small fish pond, the adult ducks have already been for a swim, having said that they could swim anywhere today the rain has been torrential.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

A Magic Fish Pond

Magic, the entertainments manager from Turtle Bay Beach Club came on Saturday to show us how to make a fish pond. The children had a great time digging the pond helping to put the viscreen inside and filling it with water. On Monday Magic is back to put the plants in, some tadpoles and the fish. One of our ducks has been sitting on her eggs for a few weeks which hatched on Friday, so when their Mum thinks they are ready the ducklings will be able to have a swim in the new pond.

Turtle Watch

The team at Watamu Turtle Watch invited 3 of our children, Sifa, Janet & Evance to help every Saturday to take care of the Turtles and help with the releases. This is their second week and they all thoughly enjoy their  special day. They have been given the official tee shirts and are now part of the Turtle Watch team. Nelly, pictured here who is the Manager said the children really are a great help. Oscar pictured here on the left came along for the ride, he is the little brother of Janet and Evance, so he wanted to see where they were going.
Thank you to all at Turtle Watch for giving our children this great opportunity.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Harry Severs

Harry Severs has visited Watamu and seen for himself the hardship that many children have to suffer.
Harry is one of our Happy House Sponsors and is going to run the Gold Coast Marathan in Australia on the 4th of July to raise money for the Happy House. Harry has created a Just Giving Page. His target is £2,500 and already he has rasied £480.
Good Luck Harry, Lots of Love The Happy House Kids xx

Country Boy & Brenda

We decided to buy a cow, for which we have had  generous donations towards. The local cows can be bought for around £50 but Brenda is a cross breed, half local and half Jersey, so she cost £400. The local cows only give around 4-5 litres of milk a day. Brenda is pregnant and due to give birth in the next 6 weeks, then we will be able to milk her. At first it will be around 10 litres and it will gradually build up until we can expect anything from 15-20 litres  a day. With 27 children the milk will still not be enough we need two more cows to be self sufficient. Brenda does not cost us anything to feed as she grazes on the land, so it will be free milk in a few weeks. A house is being built for Brenda as the rain is very heavy at times, I will post blog when she gets her place as she wants it!
Brenda was brought here in a pick up truck, a sight to see, trundling along the road. Brenda was definately not amused.
Why is she called Brenda? It just happened, but please Brenda's everywhere take it as a compliment, she is lovely looking and a very gentle nature as she waits for her baby to be born. We hope it is a little girl cow, then after 2 years she too can have babies.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Welcome home Natasha

On Sunday the 23rd of May 2010 I was called by a friend called Mary who is head mistress at a government school in Malindi, to tell me that one of her 15 year old pupils, Neema, had given birth on the 7th of May to a baby girl and was still in Malindi hospital due to the Mum's health problems.


Mary and I agreed the child needed our help, so we drove the 25 miles to Malindi to see the situation for ourselves. We discovered that Neema became pregnant by a neighbour in the sprawling slums in Muyeye, who now denies any involvement. No surprise there then! The hospital was a dire place; it looked as though it had been built in the 1950's with no improvements since. The place was packed inside and out, the smell was overwhelming, with two or more people lying on a bed.  We discovered that Neema experienced complications just before birth she had constant headaches, abdominal pains and was very irritable for long periods of time. 3 days after a natural birth Neema started exhibiting violent behaviour, and trying to throw the baby away. She was rushed back to the hospital where she had to be sedated, and was therefore unable to breastfeed the baby. On the Sunday we went to the hospital the baby had not been fed or washed for two days. The Mum was in the Women's Ward, so the baby was open to many different infections and illnesses. The Grandmother agreed for us to bring the baby 'home' to the Happy House, as she had no means of caring for her, Neema and the other 5 children she had at home. The Grandmother, the hospital office Mary, and myself signed an agreement, as she was the one that referred the baby to the Happy House. Billy our Social Worker will now complete all the necessary paper work for us to officially care for Natasha. Contact will be kept with the family to check on the progress of Neema


When we brought Natasha home at 2pm on Sunday afternoon the Happy House Kids were  delighted all wanting to see their new baby sister. The girls all wanted to hold her and the boys just looked on, as men do! Once the House Mums bathed and fed the baby she already looked so much better, she is sleeping well and takes her bottles hungrily. She slept most of Monday in her lovely clean cot full of baby porridge and SMA milk.


Sorry the delay in sending the news but the camera broke and we have had to buy a new one, not an easy task in this area! If only we had Jessops on the corner!



Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Charity Comes Home

Today Charity was brought home, by Billy our Social Worker to the Happy House. Charity is 8 months old but very small and weak. Her Mum was 14 years old when she gave birth and died a month later.The Dad was the same age. The grandparents have been trying to care for Charity but it is an impossible situation. The baby was being fed on Ugali, a local dish of maize flour, not at all the food for a baby. Charity is very under nourished, but we know that in a few days of being cuddled kept clean and dry and being fed with lovley SMA milk and baby porridge she will start to flourish. She is constantly crying but she will settle and be a Happy, Happy House Baby.

Monday, 17 May 2010

New Shoes

On Saturday I had to go to Malindi a 45 mile round trip to get new school shoes for 14 of the children.As we only have the car I had to make two trips. Tim Jones & George Palmer who are out here volunteering at Gede Secondary School and have also been a tremendous help at the Happy House came with us. The children sang all the way there and back. Oscar pictured here on the far left was definitely the choir master.
We desperately need a mini bus it is becoming more and more impossible to get the children around. For school we are relying on Tuk Tuk's which are unreliable and not always as safe as I would like them to be for our children, but we don't have any other means of getting the children to school, it is too far for the little ones to walk, especially now as the weather is very unpredictable. When the rain comes it is  torrential.
If anyone has any ideas how we can raise the £8,000 needed please let me know......soon

Friday, 14 May 2010

Bero Book arrives in Africa

Pictured here on the left is Hadija our cook who just loves the Bero Book. Violet also helped  with prepartions for the party

Happy Birthday Rose

Yesterday it was Rose's birthday, earlier in the week she had said she would like to share it here with the Happy House Kids. So what started off a juice & biscuits when they came home from school ended up with chips for the kids as a special treat, pilau rice for the staff and guests. Hadija our cook was great. A couple of weeks ago I gave her a Bero Book, well it has changed her life!  I showed her the simple recipes for scones, butterfly buns with butter cream filling, jam tarts, coconut tarts, she just couldn't stop baking all day! She baked and decorated a lovely birthday cake for Rose. We need to remember that Hadija has never had a oven and never had the ingredients to bake before. She came in the office this morning and said we should now start selling cakes to local shops and hotels, I am always open to ways to help us make some money.
It was lovely day everyone was working together preparing  for the party. We put balloons and flags outside. When the children come home from school, as soon as they enter the gate in the Tuk Tuk's they are all cheering, because they are home, yesterday they cheered even louder! The atmosphere was fantastic. There is so much love here.
Rose said it was the best birthday ever.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Happy House Kids go to School

We have a great new social worker called Billy who is really helping us get things organised in the best interests of the children. It was decided that the children are now settled enough in the Happy House to be able to start school. When we told them yesterday there was great excitement. We have 25 children 6 of whom already attend school so we had to take 18 kids to get their uniforms. We had some shoes from what had been donated and we have socks, but we will have to buy the other shoes, we also bought 18 school bags. I arrived at the Happy House at 7.30 this morning and everyone was ready and waiting to go. The nursery teacher Josephine and two Mums have gone with the children to support the teachers.
It is so quiet for those of us that are left, no one runs when the gate opens no one shouts Mama Sue, Mama Sue, no singing or listening to grace before lunch, it really is so quiet. We know that each one of us is watching the clock for the children to come home. Billy went to school to check on the children and he said they were all happy and mixing well with the other children. I know it is better for them, but some looked so little in their uniforms. When the Tuk Tuk's arrived to take them I filled up, it was so hard to watch them go. Myself, Rose and the Mums who stayed at home just looked at each other as we walked back inside our empty Happy House and tried to get on with our very quiet day.

Happy House Kids say Thank you to Helen

On Sunday Helen Coward the General Manager from Ocean Sports  invited the Happy House Family to a pool party at the hotel , unfortunately it was a very wet day, so the children played games inside and then went into the restaurant for juice and biscuits. Everyone has a great afternoon. Helen said any Sunday that the weather is good we can take the children to the swimming pool. As at this time of the year the weather is very unsettled  with a lot of heavy rain we will have to wait until the day, as I don't like to promise the children anything and then it doesn't happen.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Welcome to the Happy House Family Billy

We are happy to Welcome Billy Mugu to the Happy House Family.
 Billy is a highly qualified Social Worker with 15 years experience. As more of our children are now settled enough to start school, Billy has been in contact with local hospitals with regard to abandoned babies. He is well known to the Local Children's Office and the maternity hospitals in this area. It will lovely to have babies in the Happy House Family. Billy is pictured here with Mwende the youngest star of our show.
We are positive that Billy will be a great asset to the care of our children.


Magic, the manger of the Fun Base team at Turtle Bay Beach Club came to see the children yesterday. Magic has visited us before and has some great ideas for activities that the children could take part in. He is also a very active member of the local Horticultural Society and is going to start a gardening club here with the children. They will plant their own seeds, care for them and watch them grow. Magic also has some guinea pigs for the kids to take care of.

Kids on the Move

When we take the Happy House Kids on trips we are very restricted where we can go as we have to use 3 of the local Tuk Tuk's,  therefore limiting us to short distances. We need to buy our own transport especially as another 14 of our children will be going to school this week. Normally they could walk, but in this weather it is impossible.The children have to be at school by 7am, then it is a long walk home for  tired little legs.
We need to raise around £10,000, has anyone any ideas? Does your company help children's charity's? Do you know of any Trusts or Foundations that would help the children. I know you will help if you possibly can.

Happy House Family visit the local Snake Farm

On Friday the Happy House Family visited the local Snake Farm. It was great, the kids loved it. They saw many things from crocodiles, to snakes and chameleons. The house mums and Rose were stood at the back but the children couldn't wait for their turn to hold one of the reptiles. 

Thursday, 6 May 2010

At Last !!

At last we have mains water, it has been a long road, but thanks to Isaac, pictured here on the left, we now have our own tap. The washing, cleaning and toilets are flushed with the well water, which is of course free. The mains water will be used for drinking and cooking.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Team Howdra Run for the Happy House

I was contacted by Chris Howdra to say that him and somke friends wanted to help the Happy House Kids. The guys decided to run the RAK Half Marathon in Dubai, the raised an amazing 5,000 AED which is around £900.  This is what Chris had to say:-
I personally have been
to Watamu and have seen first hand what great people live there,an how all the local guys REALLY care  an love for each other and their community,this is somthing that I personally have never witnessed in any country before, and as
for the kids we will all be helping........just visit the web link as this says all  

Monday, 3 May 2010

Bicycle Riding Lessons

It is lovely to see the older kids teaching the younger ones to ride the bicycles.
Hopefully Christmas will bring more bicycles for the children, especially for the ones at school. It is quite a walk for little legs.

The Country Boy Makes Good

Today the Happy House Kids have eaten the first crop of the year. It is called Kale but it is more like spinach as we know it.
We have temporarily employed 6 local woman to clear more of the land for growing more food. If we can plant lots maize we will be able to send it to the flour mill to be made into maize flour that is used for the local dish of Ugali.