Monday, 31 December 2012

Grocery gifts

A huge thank you to visitors Margie Katathanasis and Gero Bongiorno who took time out of their holiday at Blue Bay Hotel, Watamu, to visit the Happy House, bringing with themj very welcome gifts of groceries and household items.
It is such a huge help when visitors are thoughtful enough to bring staple items of consumables as this really does so much to keep our housekeeping bills down.
Thank you Margie and Gero, we hope you enjoyed your time with is and that you will come back and see us soon.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Force to be reckoned with

As Kenya is still a long way from equality for women, Mama has always been keen to ensure that our girls grow up knowing that they have the world at their feet.
By encouraging the Girl Power message she has given them a belief in themselves and the certain knowledge that, if they work hard, they can achieve.
The boys, with Papa as their greatest ally, have always come back with their own rallying cry of BOY POWER and now they have a very special reason to celebrate. 
Today's blogger,  11-year-old Evans, chairman of the Kidz Council, reports:
 Boys in the Happy House are doing a good job. They are helping everywhere where they are needed and making sure everything is OK.
Sometimes people  say  Girl Power but not Boy Power.
Now Mama Sue she has said BOY POWER because we have been good boys are we have got a certificate for being the most disciplined and helpful boys.
And we are all very pleased and all cheered: BOY POWER!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

A kiss for a sweet sister

The first of our little travellers have returned home safe and sound.
And when twins Sauma and Pendo arrived home from their Christmas visit to relatives it was to a very warm welcome from their Happy House brothers and sisters. 
Brian was so overjoyed to see them he couldn't resist giving Sauma a great big kiss!
Pendo and Sauma were tired from their journey and a bit overwhelmed by their enthusiastic greeting but after a shower and some tea they were soon back to normal and chatting away to their playmates as if they had never been away..

Friday, 28 December 2012

A day of fun and laughter

Those Happy House kids who stayed at home for Christmas whilst some of their ''brothers'' and ''sisters'' are on visits to relatives had a fun packed day
.Auntie Rose,who sentthese pictures yesterday when the office reopened for business, says that the morning was spent playing party games plus the kids very favourite activity - a dancing competition.
After a festive lunch of pilau, they settled down to watch videos, kindly given by their many friends in the UK and other parts of the world.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Snails a-pace

What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice...  not our Pendo is made from much tougher stuff!

She's a real little tomboy and much prefers creepy crawlies to dollies and a snail never fails to please. 

In Kenya they make their snails very big indeed!

 Pendo was squealing with delight when she found this giant snail and was chasing after the other little ones who were doing a very good impression of being disgusted, refusing to pick it up.

 It didn't stop them coming back for a much closer inspection and to gather some leaves to feed Pendo's snail and it's friends.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day baby bonus

Here's a Boxing Day wave from Auntie Rehema and her  band of babies... well,one of them at least!
The little ones had a lovely Christmas with their elder brothers and sisters.
Our little boys, twin Peter and Paul, Baraka and Amani and Jonathan and James, plus David ,were not for waving, but our only baby girl, Esther, the youngest of them all, truly got into the spirit!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

We wish you a merry Christmas ... 
Mama, Papa and all the family send you lots of love for a festive season full of fun.
It is a time for families, and it is thanks to each one of you, who share Mama's vision and support our work, that we have our wonderful Happy House family, where children grow up safe, loved, confident and happy.
You are helping to save and  transform young lives and to give them a worry-free and joyful childhood and to grow up with education and opportunity.
Today, as you celebrate with your family and friends please spare a moment to reflect on all  you have helped our charity to achieve ...  without you it would have been impossible.

Monday, 24 December 2012

A festive thank you

Christmas cards and gifts have been pouring in from our friends and child sponsors all over the world. 
It is not possible to thank each one of you individually on this occasion, but for birthdays and individual letters etc to sponsor children you will always get a reply.. 
You know how much we appreciate your  friendship, your love and your kindness.
A very big  THANK YOU to you all.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Master Builder, Musyoka

Builders have been laying a floor made of  a local stone called galana and Musyoka has found the whole process very interesting. 
As well as quizzing the workmen on what they were doing, he also gave them a helping hand.
Musyoka  photographed the work in process  and is telling you all about it in today's blog.
Musyoka writes:
 I was watching the builders so that I learn how to build.
They were making a floor .
They mix water to sand  and cement and then they spread it  on the floor. The galana goes on top.
They hammer it so that it is flat.
Then they brush it and make it clean. 
Then it is done.
I would like to be a builder when I grow up.                                 
I will build a house to live in.                                           

Saturday, 22 December 2012

In the swim

 With so many of their brothers and sisters away from the Happy House on Christmas visits to relatives, those who have stayed at home are having some fun times together 
.And where better to enjoy yourself than on a trip the beach.
Watamu is right on the Indian Ocean with wonderful white sandy beaches.
Our kids love playing in the water and in the sand and everyone had a ball.
Auntie Lynn, from Blackpool, who is there helping out had  splash happy time too!
There are more pictures on our Facebook page:

Friday, 21 December 2012

Festive fair in Doncaster

There's a Christmas bonus for the Happy House family thanks to Entry Level Childcare students at Doncaster College, Yorkshire.
They held a festive fair for staff and fellow-students at the college and raised  115 pounds to help our children.
The students are in the sponsor family of our beautiful ittle boy, David, and their tutor, Lesley Pidcock and her family sponsor Janet and Natasha.
Lesley, her husband Alan and their daughter Kathryn visited the Happy house while they were on holiday in Watamu in 2010 and have since become good friends and great ambassadors for our charity
Thank you Lesley, her students and to all who supported their latest venture.
Happy Christmas to you all from all our family.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

A different kind of Christmas ..

Sisters Jane and Zawadi
Our Happy House children have joined our family for very many reasons. 
Some do have family members, beyond the Happy House and , when it is in achild's interests, contact with relatives is maintained and encouraged.
It is important that they know who they are, where they have come from, and that they are loved by grandparents, aunties, and in some cases a parent.
A wave from Karembo, John and Sifa 
Because a relative cannot provide for the daily needs of a child, 365 days a year, it doesn't mean that they don't care. They are victims of circumstance in a country where abject poverty is commonplace.
If there is no breadwinner in a family, there is no bread to eat. 
Uncle Billy, our very caring and highly skilled social worker,  keeps in touch with relatives and , in school holidays, arranges ''home'' visits.
He checks out all the details to ensure that each child will be well cared for and that there will be enough for them to eat.
The Happy House is home to our kids, but they still want and look forward to going to stay with relatives, albeit in a world that is very different from the one they are now used to.
A gift from Margaret
For the first time a number of our children have gone to visit relatives for Christmas, after asking Mama Sue if they could. Of course, she agreed, knowing and trusting Uncle Billy's assessment of each individual case.
Uncle Billy takes up the story:  ''The kids were requesting to spend Christmas in their various homes and to come back on new year's day. This was brought up at the meeting we always do prior to home visits and I thought they have a point.
They were all so excited after Mama's nod on Skype since they went straight 
to wash their bags which were nice and packed by the next morning! 
Christmas is a special time in the villages where lots of family 
get-togethers are planned with people having enough to eat and  to make 
I feel it is a  good for us to allow them to spend Christmas with their 
folks at home having had three distinct Christmas parties in the Happy 
House with us all.  I am sure they will  have loads to share about Santa  and 
goody bags not forgetting the elves!
The home-visits have been emphasized in the children's  services meetings whereby 
those who can't be signed out by blood relations can be taken home by 
willing and able staff members since they play a great custodial role as 
immediate family members

This gives those children an opportunity to see functional smaller/ nuclear families with the varying roles of each party.
In the meantime,those who can't leave as yet are well prepared psychologically since they have appreciated the fact that life doesn't always turn out the same to each of us at the same time. 

Moreover they know that we love and care and are a real family in spite of the odds.''
There was great excitement when relatives arrived to collect the children  who, as Uncle Billy said, were all packed and ready to go.
As you can see they were dressed in their best clothes and so were the relatives who came to collect them.
With only 31 children left at the Happy House it's much quieter, but Uncle Billy and the family team will make sure that they have a fun time and that spirits are kept running high until everyone is back safe and sound with stories to tell..

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Maria's Fab Friends

Everyone at the Happy House knows that we have some really fabulous friends.
But our Maria has more than most, the Fab Friends Network,  a  personal development community of business women,  are members of her sponsor family.
They recently raised  145 pounds with a meal at an Indian restaurant in High Wycombe, organised by member Charlotte Sharman (pictured right)..
Charlotte said the evnt was attended by 12 members who had a happy time raising money for Maria and her Happy House brothers and sisters.
Thank you to Charlotte and all those who attended for thinking of us.
We think you are absolutely fabulous!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Class act at St Aidan's

Just look how many friends our Linus has at St Aidan's School, Preesall, Lancashire!
Mrs Joanne Rossall's form K7 are members of his sponsor family and they take a great interest in everything he and his Happy House brothers and sisters get up to.
So it was very exciting for them to meet his Mama Sue when she and Elizabeth went along to a form assembly yesterday when K7 were joined by students from other forms who were interested in knowing more.
Mrs Rossall and her class have been holding events throughout the year to raise money for us and on Thursday, a non-uniform day, will have a cake sale for Happy House funds.
It's a good thing Linus, three, isn't around ... he loves cake and there wouldn't be much left to sell.
Thank you to St Aidan's for inviting us along and for all you do.
*Mrs Rossall, Mama Sue and Elizabeth are pictured with some of the students, and (right) some of the students who are helping to to raise awareness of what we do.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Team Papa!

Anyone who knows our Papa Dave  will know that within five minutes of meeting him he'll be talking football.
As he drives through Watamu, local lads will shout results at him, and to them he is Mr Leeds United!
Football is a universal language and it breaks down many barriers, Papa loves his sport and uses it to make friends and to encourage our own Happy House girls and boys to achieve their own goals in life, on or off the pitch.
Papa has been supporting Leeds all his life, so he was thrilled to bits when Vicky Simpson and Shaun Windram sent Leeds Utd kits for their sponsor kids,identical twins Peter (right) and Paul this Christmas.
And he was proud to pose for a picture with his own junior Leeds Supporters' Club.
Thank you Vicky and Shaun for your kindness to your special little boys and also for making our Papa a very happy man!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Helping the aunties

Lucinda, who is 16 this week, takes over the blog today. 
As you will find out she is a very helpful girl to have around.

Lucinda writes: '' It is  now our  chool holidays. 
This morning I was helping aunts to  wash the clothes.
I am good at washing.
Then I helped to put the cloths out to dry.
I  was  helping also to  carry  the  babies to  the banda for Aunt Rehema.''

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Cheerful new look

Just look how our housemums and aunties look in their new uniforms.
Mama chose the material while she was back home after seeing how worn and tired the old uniforms were after two years of constant wear.
Now every member of staff has two sets of new uniform. 
The house mums and aunties request trousers instead of skirts which are much more practical and the material is so smart and cheerful, and the kids just love the animal print.
The new uniforms were made by local man Sifa who also makes all our school uniforms.

Coming up: Don't forget tomorrow is the day the kids take over the blog and this week we have a story for you by Lucinda.
She is a very kind  ''big sister' to the younger children.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Making a splash and splashing out on groceries

Auntie Lynn in the swim

There was a splashing time for volunteer Lynn Baya Thoya when she swapped the blustery Blackpool coast for the soft white sands of Watamu.
 Lynn, who lives in Blackpool, arrived back at the weekend and it is so hot she was glad of a chance to cool down!
Auntie Lynn (pictured with Lily and Salama)  enjoyed a trip to Garoda beach with all our Happy House kids. Garoda is where  Lynn  married her Kenyan husband, John, last June.

Another return visitor to the Happy House is Italian Marina Temperato. Marina, who has a special place in her heart for our little David.
Marina called in to say hi to all our kids and brought with her some very useful groceries including maize flour, rice, sugar and cooking oil.  She is pictured with David and also with auntie Rose, Shakila, Oscar, Fatuma and David.
Gifts of staple foodstuffs like these are always very much appreciated as they help keep our bills down.
Thank you Marina for your kindness.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Welcome back Steph

Birthday girl  Mercy
With Lucinda
 After saving hard to go back to Kenya to visit the Happy House, Steph Hill has been reunited with her beautiful sponsor child, Lily.
And with her, meeting Lily for the first time,  is her fiance Gavin Kelly.
Steph has been supporting and fundraising for the Happy House since before it was built and has followed the progress of our kids every step of the way.
As Steph and Gav's arrival coincided with Kidz Club when they were asked to do the birthday honours by presenting gifts to this week's birthday children, Mercy and Lucinda.
Saying hello to Lily.
Steph is thrilled to be back and to see how Lily has grown.
Last year Steph was with her mum Bev Higham and sister Lyndsey, so  this year she is having fun introducing Gavin to all our kids.
We hope Steph and Gav, who work at Newton Hall Holiday Centre, near Blackpool, enjoy every minute of their well-earned break.
Christmas pictures
Members of our sponsor family should have received, by email, a picture of their child along with a Christmas greeting.  If you haven't received your picture please let us know. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Clinic call for Jonathan

Mama with Jonathan and Dr Kapanga
While Mama was back home at the Happy House she took the opportunity to take Jonathan see paediatrician Florence Kapanga at her private clinic in Malindi.
Jonathan has been diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia and the treatment and management of his condition is crucial.
Uncle Billy
Mama, who went to the clinic with our social worker Uncle Billy, was pleased to  talk to Dr Kapanga about the recommended treatment for our little boy and was happy that he is getting what he needs at the moment.
We would like to thank specialist nurse Isabel Adams, of the sickle cell unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, for her help and advice.
Isabel has done a great deal to explain the condition to us and also sent us a very useful parents’ handbook which will be of great help to Uncle Billy and our house mums who are responsible for the daily care of Jonathan and which will help them to identify a crisis when it occurs, quickly.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Running for your money

Well done to Chris Lunt who braved the cold to complete a 10k run in Manchester on Sunday to raise money for our family.
Chris, from Denton, is an account manager at Micro Librarian Systems, Stockport, which has adopted our Happy House as its charity.
Chris, who is joining our sponsor family, wanted to go the extra mile by taking part in a sponsored run.
So far he has raised  more than one hundred pounds on his Justgiving page.
Many thanks Chris for your valiant efforts … as you can see from this picture our kids like running too!
If you would like to support Chris and the Happy House you can make a donation at
A big thank you to Devizes Running Club who made a donation of one hundred pounds via our good friend and charity trustee Chris Franklin.
Baggage call
Does anyone living in Blackpool or the Fylde coast have any large holdalls they may no longer need or could loan to Mama Sue and Papa Dave who have so many donated items to take back to the Happy House with them when they next go back.
They need two or three holdalls, with a 23k capacity. If you can help please email Mama at