Thursday, 30 September 2010

Welcome 'Home' Elizabeth

It's been non-stop since I arrived back in Watamu on Friday but now on my fourth visit  I expected, nor wanted, anything less. I am having such a good time working with Sue and the Happy House family and giving my help wherever it is needed.
I'm a welcome extra pair of hands for the mums when all the babies wake up and want attention at the same time. They are adorable and all doing so well, baby Harry - abandoned at the side of the road at birth, weighing less than a bag of sugar, is now a flourishing three month old. He's still tiny, about normal birth weight for a UK infant, but he's got a hearty appetite, a strong grip, and healthy lungs!
Charity, another who was close to death when she arrived at the Happy House, is crawling and almost standing on her own. She's a real character.
I was with Billy when he gave the children their gifts sponsors had sent with me.
He calls them in one at a time and explains to them who the gift is from and if there is a card of letter he reads it to them. The children are really interested in the those people who, in a far of land, have become their friends. It's very touching to see how much a small gift or a photograph and letter can mean. 
And one small gift is ideal, they can be overwhelmed by more, but they do share willingly and those who have not received anything do not go without.
It's heart warming to see how the children all help each other. They have there squabbles of course, but most of the time they all join in and play together. the little ones learning from the older ones.
Visitors are amazed to see how they come in from school, greet everyone there, and then sit down and get their homework done - with Billy there to give help and encouragement when needed- before changing and playing out, until it's time for tea.  Even little Mwende and Pendo  who are in the baby class get colouring homework, but they follow the routine like everyone else. They are as thick as thieves and are like sisters in all but blood.
The Happy House is doing all that Sue promised it would.  Getting it this far has been like a mountain to climb, and there have been so many setbacks and much heartache, but Sue, with Dave by her side, has done it. It is my privilege to be helping.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Hello & Goodbye

On Friday we said goodbye to Brenda Groves and her grand daughter Chloe, and hello to Elizabeth Gomm.
The children all agreed that the best way to do this was to have a pool party and a cake! Brenda & Chloe have always both been great fund raisers and have really enjoyed their time here with the children. Elizabeth is a Trustee of the charity and really does always go above and beyond the call of duty to support the Happy House Family.

Dawn Grant at North Chadderton School

This is a write up from Dawn Grant who has supported our work in many different ways, and is very active in fund raising not only at the school where she works but also with other friends and associates.

Hello my name is Dawn Grant. I am a working mum of two young men now aged 18yrs and 21yrs, I have been married for 24 yrs, my husband is called Ian.  I work at North Chadderton School in Oldham.

Approximately 18 months ago I saw Sue and Dave Hayward on the BBC Northwest tonight programme talking about their fantastic charity and all that they had achieved, I felt inspired to help, really moved by this, I just had to meet Sue. So with a little help from the BBC I got in touch with Sue. We met at her hotel and quite literally my life has changed. I am now the sponsor of a beautiful little girl in Watamu, her name is Lily and she is 5yrs old. I keep in touch via e-mail sending letters and I send gifts. This for me is about a long term commitment to this precious little girl, she needs me and I will be there. If all the children in the Happy House had sponsors that could support the children in a very real and positive way, then it will be a wonderful place for these children to grow up in and in turn their lives will be enhanced by knowing that someone really cares them. I really love the fact that we (sponsors) are known as a family because this is what all these children need, and that is why we got involved.


















Friday, 24 September 2010

Mum Monica

Monica one of our main House Mums had her hands full this morning feeding Harry, with Pendo, Charity and Steve all standing next to her. The children are pulling themselves up everywhere we can't wait for one of them to set off walking, every day we are saying it will be Pendo, no Saumu, look at Charity is she going to take the first step! Little Steve is very laid back and it will do anytime for him, he is not in a rush.

Beautiful Brian

Brian is so beautiful, he is the most pleasant baby, he even wakes up smiling.
Happy House life is going on well, the children are happy, which as always is our main concern. The babies are growing and thriving, the twins Pendo and Saumu are now getting teeth, they are 15 months old and the teeth are only just growing. They were so starved and in such a poor condition when they came home that even their hair was not growing and the few strands they did have was red due to the malnutrition.  It is such a fantastic feeling to see the changes that take  place so quickly in the children as we weave the Happy House magic.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Welcome Home Peninah


A sweet little baby we have called  Penninah was brought home by Billy, our Social Worker on the, 16th September 2010. Her case was first reported to Billy late July 2010. She was seen for the first time on 3rd of August and the family was found to be in dire straits financially.


However, they were encouraged to keep trying harder to raise the money needed for food through the 'community based' approach where friends and neighbours support each other.


Penninah was born to a 19 year school gir,l Kanze Nguma, who had to cut her studies short barely in class 6 .She has never told anyone  who fathered the child. Afterwards she developed hearing complications and you must be pretty close and have to shout for her to hear what is being said. We feel she will have been raped and is still traumatized. No action has been taken by the family towards her hearing impairment.


The father figure, Nguma Kalama developed a health problem, which looks as if it has been a stroke. He has been bed ridden for the past 2 years. It is hard for him to feed himself even if there is some cooked food for him.


The family is single-handedly depending on his wife, Nzingo Pola who has to look for menial jobs which are hard to come by. She has to provide for her other offspring Kitsao 16 yrs , Kalume 13, and Kabibi  9.


The family is surviving barely surviving through the support of well-wishers and other voluntary individuals who are also in the dire straits of poverty.


 The Happy House would wish to help, but can only support the most vulnerable of all…….. and that is Peninnah. Our door is always open for the family to visit at any time.



Monday, 13 September 2010

Bikes for the Little Ones

Thanks you to Terry & Lora Stock and their children Alfredo & Emily, we now have nine brand new bikes for our little ones. Terry saw on the website that our samller children were without bikes and immediately transferred the money through Just Giving so we now have mini cyclists.
It never ceases to amaze me how the children share and care. I told some of the older children, Janet, Evans, Sifa, and Jedija that we had ordered some little bikes, they immediately named who they would be teaching to ride. We really are a lovely family

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Scolar Green Primary School Cheshire

Marion Perry has been involved with our work for the children for a couple of years now and has always been a great support. Marion recently visited us here at the Happy House. This is her story.
The Children, Parents and Friends of Scholar Green Primary School in Cheshire East held a fantastic Africa day to raise money for the Happy House Project. We had a great time dressing up in an African theme, which included traditional tribal dress as well as an amazing assortment of African animals (and the odd tiger that snuck in from Asia!)
We held a whole school assembly, which gave the children the opportunity to find out a little bit about the Happy House project. At the end of the assembly the children were buzzing and felt really proud to be part of the project they were fund-raising for, however 2 amazing year 6 children - Annabelle Wright and Alice Thompson - took it upon themselves to do even more. Within a few weeks a great "Cakes and Shakes" stall was frantically delivering homemade cakes and fabulous flavored milkshakes during a lunchtime. The sale was incredibly popular and therefore raised yet another hundred pounds onto of the £200 raised from the Africa Day!
So, in the beginning of August I arrived at the Happy House armed with our cheque! Immediately I was struck by how much Sue and the team had achieved. The children came running up to us and some grabbed our hands, not wanting to let go. Before long, with one little sweetheart in my arms and another holding hands, I was taken around The Happy House by Dave. What else can I say other than the fact that we were bowled over by how bright, welcoming and loving the atmosphere at the Happy House was. The children were an absolute delight and so deserve our help to give them the chance to grow and strive in life. I know that the children, parents and friends of Scholar Green Primary School will not forget the Children of The Happy House and the amazing people who do so much!

Thursday, 9 September 2010


Four of our babies are now nearly walking. Steve is helped by Uncle Billy with Pendo looking on. Suama is walking with Mama Preshca. Charity is also just about ready but she would definitely rather eat than exercise!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Aspinall Family

Michelle Aspinall and her family have been a fantastic support to the happy House in many different ways, from sponsoring children to raising large donations. It was our pleasure to welcome them into the Happy house Family. This is what Michele has to say about their experience.
 We arrived at the Happy House after our very long way round the world, met my Mum here in Watamu for a week. We sponsor Samson, my Mum sponsors Pendo and my brother sponsors Fatuma. Initially, it was about meeting ALL the Happy House children, not just our sponsored children, because they are all as deserving as each other. Their trust in us very quickly grew. They would high five us returning from school, come up for cuddles, hold our hands, and even play with my long blond hair! Our three children, Billy, Jack and Maddie, have enjoyed the various aspects of the Happy House...serving the kids lunch, playing on the bikes with them, playing with the babies, seeing how they live their lives. They have seen first hand where the £2000 we all raised ( big contribution from their school, Markland Hill) has gone-wages, food, medical supplies, 10 bikes, and the never ending consumables of nappies, toilet roll and milk!!! Ed has contributed to helping build the new chicken run, with Gideon, Fred and Moses-all really good, sound workers as Ed says. I have been fortunate to spend the day with Billy, the social worker, visiting the hospital with little Brian, having a look at their maternity department where he was abandoned, a sneak look at the physiotherapy department ( I am a physio myself), then the Children's Probation office, register office and then finally a home visit to a family of 7, with triplets. It really brought it home to me that the issues in the Happy House are widespread, they are about keeping families together. We have really enjoyed our time here at the Happy House, and we will continue to support the children in their future needs. Thanks Sue and Dave for the opportunity to experience this. We look forward to the continued developments, and will really miss the children after nearly 2 weeks with them. 

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Sandro & Tiziana

A lovely Italian couple called in to see us and ask if there is anything we need. Rose, told them our immediate needs of pampers, baby milk, cooking oil, toilet paper and soap powder. They returned later in the day with everything on our list.
Thank you both so very much, we appreciate your kindness and generosity. 

Fakiri on his birthday bike

Fakiri has been lucky enough to have a bicycle bought for his birthday by Louisa Gee one of his Happy House Family members. He was so thrilled, when he saw it. He is very good at sharing with the other boys, as brothers should.

Rose & Billy

I thought you would all like to say hello to Rose & Billy. They are both working so hard on the sponsorship scheme. Rose takes care of the pictures and memory boxes and Billy is working closely with the children, reading your letters and talking about how hard people are working so they can live in safety at the Happy House.
Thank you all for the fantastic response to the newsletter, so many of you have now made contact with 'your' child. It really does make such a difference. Janet came in the office yesterday with a birthday card from one of her family members, to show Rose & I. We asked her to write in the card how old she is and how she was going to celebrate her birthday, she then took great pleasure in placing the card in her memory box.