Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy House Nursery School

What a year ! I don't think any of us here at the Happy House will ever forget 2010. So much has happened but in the end we have achieved more than we expected to.
The Happy House Nursery School will be opening on the 3rd of January, so that is very exciting. Due to an unexpected anonymous donation we have been able to start the school much sooner than expected. Today the Happy House kids who will be attending the nursery went into the new classrooms to meet the teachers and see how everything is. The children are so happy to be in the new school.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our work with the children in oh so many ways.
May I wish everyone a very Happy & Healthy 2011
Love & best wishes,
Mama Sue, Papa Dave & The Happy House Family xxx

At Last Charity !

At last Charity has decided to walk! All our other little Happy House people have been walking for a while now but Charity was having none of it, then yesterday she just stood up and off she went. She still finds smiling  a bit of a trouble but she is getting there! She really is an individual, it is so lovely to see little personalities developing.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Happy House Nursery School

On Monday due to a very generous anonymous donation we will be opening the first classes of the Happy House Nursery School. We are busy arranging the furniture, buying text and record books, making sure we have everything ready for Monday morning.
Tomorrow we are having an open day for parents to come and have a look at what we have to offer. We are including computer and music lessons. We are providing all the learning materials, text books, pencils, colored pencils exercise books etc. I prefer to do it this way then we know each child will have everything they need in class.  Lunch will also be provided as it will be the only meal some of the children will get in a day.
It is a very exciting time, and I know we will make such a difference to the lives of so many children to have an education as we intend to provide. The next question always is, will you also be building a Primary School? As from January 2012 we will need at least Class 1. We feel that the standard of education that we intend to provide  in the Nursery there isn't another school in the area that the children can on to that is the same as we are with forward thinking. Here I am already in January 2012 and it is not 2011 until the end of this week.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Christmas Day

The Happy House Family had the most magical Christmas Day.  Santa arrived at 9 am with a sack full of presents. It was so wonderful as the children have never celebrated Christmas before. We sat them all down and asked them to listen for bells as that would be the sign that Santa was on his way. Lynn Mcclusky and Rose were Santa Little Helpers, as they walked through the court yard with the sack of presents ringing the bells with Santa following the children went mad!! He's here he's here, everyone was shouting !! It was lovely as presents were distributed, if clothes were received they had to be put on immediately, the little ones, Pendo mwende and Karembo received  fairy dresses bought by Lynn & Elizabeth Gomm for a pound each, the pleasure those dresses gave our little girls was worth a million pounds. As I was putting a dress on Mwende there was karembo and Pendo stood in their knickers waiting to be turned into a fairy princess! The children received beads, watches, hair bands, puzzles and much much more, everyone was delighted. Juice, biscuits, sweets and cake was passed around, then the dancing started. It never ceases to amaze me how everyone can dance. Some of our children have come home to us from the most remote areas where it has been impossible for them ever to see anyone disco dancing yet they can all do it! Lunch was turkey with pilau rice, followed by fresh fruit salad, delicious !
Today, some of the children are leaving us to go on home visits. Maybe to see  Grandma or auntie, in some cases to see a Mum who was physically and mentally unable to take care of her children. We do encourage the children and families to stay in contact with each other, our children need to know who and where they have come from, I feel this is very important. Billy is excellent, he always checks with the family first to see if the children can visit. He takes the children and makes sure the family can care for the children for 3 or in some cases 6 days. Billy will also go around during the week to make sure the children are alright and being looked after. It is an awful time for me personally, I worry so much about them. Are they being looked after, are they happy, are they getting washed properly and cleaning their teeth, as any Mum worries about her children when they are away from home. The first time some of the children went earlier in the year I said to Billy what if they don't want to come back. He looked at me and simply said 'They'll be back ' Sure enough when it was time to come 'home' to us everyone was excited to be back, eager to tell us the the stories from home. Some had been given chicken pilau by Grandma it was the highlight of their visit, yet they have it twice a week here. I think it meant how welcome they were, special guests! 19 children will remain with us for the rest of the holiday.
Tomorrow 3 new teachers will start work to prepare our new Nursery School for opening on the 3rd of January, it is a very exciting prospect. I want this school to be a flagship for Nursery education, as we have made the Happy House for how children should be cared for. The education system here can be very old fashioned and dated, when we interviewed the teachers we made sure they were flexible to different teaching methods. None of them have every taught in a school that has DVD's for education, computers, books, coloured pencils and paper. Yes, I can hear you say, but those are only the basics any school has. Not here I am afraid. Our Happy House Kids have learnt English so fast from watching DVD's, they have learnt to count by singing songs such as 1 2 3 4 5 Once I caught a fish alive. Songs never heard here before. Susan & Coral who have been such a fantastic help with the babies, setting up routines and encouraging the Mums and Aunties to play with the children, to play music and talk to them all the time. The children are so much brighter and happier, they are now going to work with the teachers to prepare the classrooms with posters  and lots of educational information. The furniture sent to us by Terry Burns and his organisation Furniture for Education has been arranged in the classrooms. Some of the tables have been cut down to be the right size for the different age groups. We have put machuti, ( Thatched roof ) over an area to make two outside learning areas. We are also building a large banda as an outside classroom. When we get the school financially stable I will then be able to move forward with my plan to bring  children in for free education. Children who have no chance of any education. I will explain more about that plan as we move forward with the School. Dave has been out and about putting posters in shops, restaurants, in hotel staff rooms to let the community know we will be opening soon. We have arranged an open day for Thursday so we can show parents what we have to offer by way of the best education for their children. Wish us luck!!!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Eve Show

Yesterday the Malindi Casino visited us with lots of goodies from a roast Turkey to cake and a present for each child. We also invited other friends to join us for our Christmas Show. It was a fantastic day. The children all looked fantastic, Preshca our head House Mum and really excelled in dressing the children, everyone had a new outfit for the party, with another one to wear today. All of the clothes are those that so many of you kindly donated, we now have the best dressed kids in East Africa!
The babies did their part of the show with great support from Susan and Coral, who have been here as volunteers for the past few weeks. The songs included Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, those who could help a wand with a star on top those who were too little Susan made them all a head band with a star on. They also rocked on the little horses shaking their rattles to She'll be Coming Round the Mountain. The older children sang Away in a Manager. Jingle Bells and Little Donkey. Not a dry eye in the house, Dave & I were the first !
After the show we had dancing and the children made sure every visitor joined in. It was a fantastic day.
Today Santa is coming to see the children, with two presents for each child, I know it will be another Happy, Happy House Day.
After Christmas Rose will put all the pictures onto our Happy House Facebook Page.
Thank you to everyone who has made the Happy House possible, it really is changing the lives of so many. The Happy House Family  wish each and everyone one of you a very merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year.

Thanks to you all

A very great big thank you to everyone who has sent cards presents and good wishes to all of the Happy House Family as we celebrate our first Christmas together.
Billy, our Social Worker has read every card, letter and email to each individual child. They have shared your photographs and felt your love.
We have been so busy preparing for our first Christmas. The children have been rehearsing songs for our Christmas Show, decorating their Happy House, and saying hello to lots of visitors. Dave has been around all the shops we use regularly to ask if they would support the children at this time, the hardware shop gave us two fantastic foot pumps for the bicycles, Mama Lucy gave us food as did Giriama Residence. Lots of other donations of biscuits lollies and sweets have also been gratefully received.
Usually Billy contacts each person individually to say thank you from their own child for any item received. I hope everyone will understand that at this time of the year it has been so hectic with so many cards and presents I hope you will all understand if we say one BIG thank you from all the family to all of you for your kindness, love and generosity.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Warm hearts on a cold day!

Blackpool was covered in a blanket of snow and the thermometer had plunged to -8 on Saturday but the braveheart stallholders still turned out for the Chic and Unique Gift Fair at St John's Church, Church Street, Blackpool, writes Elizabeth Gomm
 RetroSpective, the organisers, offered all donations on the door to the Happy House and I spent the day rattling a bucket, helped by my son Rob. Baby Stevie's sponsor Hailey Aspinall ,her  sister Emma Fineman, and Andrea Manders ( who sponsors Natasha) and her daughter Ellena also gave along to give a hand for an hour or so during the day.  We also had a stall which did a brisk trade in chickens for the Happy House.
The door and stall sales raised  a total of £83.17 but it was about  more than money, as the event  gave us the chance to take the Happy House to a new audience and who knows where that could lead?
Thank you to everyone who supported us on the day and to RetroSpective for inviting us.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas is a comin.'

We can't believe it is Christmas Eve on Friday. Lynn McClusky is here with us, helping us to get ready. I have promoted her to Decorations Manager. The children are so excited, they had 3 trees trimmed in around 15 minuets! No bad say they have never seen a Christmas tree before. For Mwende it was all a bit too much. When she woke up after one and half hours she wondered whatever had happened around her! 
On Friday Malindi Casino are coming to bring the children a packed lunch and a present for each child. The children have been rehearsing songs and dances so we will do our Christmas show. On Christmas morning Santa will be coming, with two presents for each child. The children have asked for Chicken Pilau for lunch, it is their favourite, a friend of ours is baking buns. In the afternoon we are having a disco in the outside banda that Limvardy Rotary Club kindly build for us. At teatime the children will be having lots of different things to eat, then we have some new Christmas DVD's to watch. I am sure we will have full up, danced out happy, Happy House Kids.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Festive flavour

Elizabeth Gomm helped by Hailey Aspinall, Jackie Fineman and friends will be taking a collection on the door at  the Chic and Unique Gift Fair at St John's Church, Church Street, Blackpool, today (December 18) from 11am-4pm .... snow permitting!
It is being staged by RetroSpective and organisers have kindly named the Happy House as its charity. We'll also be having a stall selling our Happy House "Gifts of Hope"  - presents that will go on giving  to the Happy House family, long after the tinsel has faded. You can buy the Happy House a chicken for just £1!
If you are in, or near, Blackpool today please pop in and say helllo!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Thanks you Terry Burns & Co.

At last the third container sent by Terry Burns and his organization Furniture for Education has arrived. The contents are just amazing, every item we need to furnish the new Nursery School which we will be opening in January. We had a very generous anonymous donation that was given specifically to build a nursery school. With the empty rooms we have and by building some more outside bandas we can run 10 classrooms. It is all very exciting. As we progress I will post pictures.

Happy Dancing Kids

I am trying to organise some sort of a treat for the children every Wednesday afternoon. Last Wednesday because everyone had been so good while I was away we had a pool party. The boys looked great all in their new trunks. Thanks to everyone who rallied to the call.
This Wednesday we asked a local restaurant if they would cook chips for the children, it was such a treat as we don't serve them here. It was great chips and a Fanta Orange. When the children had finished eating the owner put some music on, immediately all the children were all up dancing, as you can see the 'Country Boy' just had to join in. We have posted lots of pictures of the children dancing on our Face book page, Rose reliably informs me that is you log on to your own Facebook account and then type Happy House it will come up. Lots of your will see your own 'family' member having a good time.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Vital Vitmains

It was lovely to see everyone during our trip to England, but we were so pleased to get back 'home' to the children. We came to the Happy House direct from the airport the kids were shouting and waving, it was such a fantastic welcome. Thank you to everyone who made the charity night such a great success. With some of the money raised I have bought two much needed washing machines, they are just operational today but we can see what a big difference they are going to make to the working day and night.
Things seemed to have changed in just two weeks. Steve is now walking, but Charity is still having none of it! The children have started on the vitamins, so we are now looking for improvements in their general well being, such a skin hair and nails. The wall has grown, by today, two sides will be complete.
The work for the new Nursery School we intend to open upstairs in January is moving on well, and really coming together, I have just had a call to say the container that has been sent by Terry Burns and his organisation Furniture for Education should be here by 4pm today, but I have learnt not to hold by breath waiting
This  lunch time everyone is getting ready to go to a local restaurant that are going to cook chips for us all. The children are so excited it is the first time anyone has been in a restaurant. I wish post the pictures tomorrow

Saturday, 4 December 2010


VINTAGE vultures, retro rooters and clever shoppers looking for something contemporary and handcrafted all  have a festive treat in store at an indoor market taking place in Blackpool town centre on Saturday, December 18, and the Happy House will be cashing in on the action!
Staged by RetroSpective,  the daytime event  Contradiction - Contemporary and Traditional  at St John's Church , Cedar Square, Blackpool,  from 11am-4pm, is  a spin-off from the highly successful series Indie market, unique gift and local artist fair evenings  which are becoming a regular attraction at local bar Scrooges.
It  will feature all sorts of everything from new to old including indie designers, hand-crafted goods, shabby chic, recycled, vintage, retro, collectibles,  fashion, jewellery, toy and games, local artist and craftspeople and cupcakes! The fair organisers have asked Children of Watamu to be their charity partner and all the donations collected on the door will be given to the Happy House project . They are also giving us a free stall where we can sell bits and bobs, including our Happy House Happiness Kits made by Kathryn Pidcock and friends and Christmas gift certificates, plus  dishing out promotional material. It's a welcome chance to get our message to a new audience.
Co-organiser Gary Palmer said: "We were looking for a charity to support and were incredibly impressed by the work being done by  Sue  Hayward and  the charity in Kenya."
For stall enquiries call Gary 07832166914 or Lisa 07854468590  or visit the website: