Friday, 31 August 2012

Posing for a picture with Grandpa

This happy group of visitors got a welcome from Grandpa when they called in at the Happy House.
Grandpa Yaa had dropped by to say hello to the kids and was delighted to meet and pose with our guests from the UK.
Talking point
Mama Sue and Elizabeth Gomm are always delighted to spread the word about our amazing family. If there are any organisations, within easy travelling distance from Blackpool, interested in having a talk about the Happy House please contact Elizabeth on 07905 130 589 or email


Thursday, 30 August 2012

Birthday girls

Two very excited little girls were centre of attention at Kidz Club.
Karembo and Charity are both celebrating their birthdays this week so knew that it would be their turn to receive gifts.
Uncle Isaac presented Karembo,six, with her bag of goodies whilst Auntie Everline did the third birthday honours for Charity.
Happy birthday and lots of love to Karembo and Charity.

String along with Jon Gomm

The enterprising people at Wear Your Music have recycled strings played by virtuoso guitarist Jon Gomm into bracelets....with 100 per cent of the net profits coming to the Happy House.
The strings,donated by Jon, once adorned Jon's beloved Lowden, Wilma, and together they made beautiful music including his Youtube sensation, Passionflower.
This year Jon is performing on four continents and 18 countries and starts a nation UK tour with Andy McKee and Preston Reed next month.
The bracelets, selling at 100 US dollars, are being snapped up by fans.
One happy fan, Diane Kitsi, who lives near Bristol, said: "There were two o main reasons why I wanted the bracelet. Firstly, since meeting Jon who told me about the Happy House I have followed the progress of the charity on Facebook. They do such a wonderfully heartwarming job which touches the heart.
I am not in a position to sponsor a child but know the proceeds of the bracelets will go directly to Happy House plus I will have a personal and permanent reminder of the wonderful work done  there and, secondly , it will be  a reminder of the gig Jon did for me in Temple Cloud for Children's Hospice South West which was such a privilege. Jon has introduced me to a genre of music I would not have otherwise heard. Thank you both."
Jon has nominated our charity to benefit from the sales, raising both awareness and funds in the process. He is also supporting us by giving a percentage of proceeds from pay-what-you-want downloads of Passionflower.  Special thanks to Jon - what a star!
To get your hands on an unusual and beautifully handcrafted item of Jon Gomm memorabilia and help our family visit, they assure us that they will have more bracelets in stock :

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The race is on

There's competition to see who can crawl the fastest when Amani and David have a race.
David, who crawls in his own unique way, got off to a good start but clearly wondered what was happening when Amani overtook him and raced home in front.
James, however, decided that racing was not for him and crawled off in the opposite direction.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sent packing!

Red and Brenda Groves who are good friends to  Mama Sue, Papa Dave and all our Happy House family spent a Bank Holiday night in Blackpool so that they could pack their bags!
Red and Brenda,from Wantage,members of Charity's sponsor family, are heading off to Watamu in October and offered to take 40kg of clothes and other items that have been donated for our children for Christmas.
We packed as much as we could, and look forward to getting more items there with anyone who happens to be going.
If you are planning to visit the Happy House before Christmas  and haven't already been in touch, please contact Mama Sue if you can spare some of your luggage allowance for our kids' Christmas gifts. Her email is
Thank you so much Red and Brenda for coming to visit, it was lovely to see you. Have a wonderful holiday... we have ordered a special smile from Charity to greet you!
*Charity (right) is pictured with Mariam (centre) and Fatuma, and Brenda and Red are pictured with Mama and Papa.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Lucinda in the saddle

Unlike her Happy House brothers and sisters, Lucinda was never keen to ride a bicycle.
While Sifa and Janet pedalled their way to school, Lucinda preferred to walk.
At home, the younger kids,too, copuld cycle just as soon as they were big enough.
Lots of encouragement has persuaded our Lucinda to give it another go, and, this time,  her perseverance has paid off.
After a wobbly start, she kept trying until she could had the hang of it,
She is now happy and confident in the saddle and everyone is celebrating her success.
Well done Lucinda , all your efforts have been rewarded.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Sifa takes over

From today, every Sunday's blog will be written by one of our Happy House kids and Auntie Libby will be taking a day off!
Today Sifa, 12 , pictured right,  is taking a turn and thanks to him for this this story of family life:
This  is  Janet (above)  she  is  in  the  kitchen  helping  Uncle  Josphat   to  
prepare  bread  and  other things.
She  is  helping  Uncle  Josphat  to cook  for  us  sweet  bread.  She also  helps in washing the  plates  and  weighing  sugar.
She enjoys  and it  makes  her  to be  happy.
Janet  helps  to  cook  tea  for  snacks  and  other   things like  ugali and fish.
The food  which she is  cooking   is  very  nice and we  eat  and  enjoy.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Clocking on

Our Happy House children live in a world where everything happens to a timetable.
They wake knowing that by the time they are showered and dressed their first meal of the day will soon be ready, then it will be time for school, playtime, lunch and play, lessons, break, lessons and when school ends it's time to change and playout until teatime, more play, quiet time and bed.
Playtime includes homeowrk, helping around the house, kids club, young farmers etc. Weekend are different but still a timetable is in place and there is little need to look at a clock.
Being able to tell the the time is essential in life, so during these school holidays one of the key areas of activity is learning to tell the time. By the end of the holidays we hope that every one of our children, old enough to learn, will be able to tell the time without any trouble.
And so we have added watches to our Christmas wish list . We searched Amazon and found some simple, durable, snap on watches - brightly coloured which the kids will love- with analogue faces. These will be absolutely ideal.
They are under £5 each. So if you would like to send a Christmas gift for our children these would be perfect and you will be helping to consolidate what they have been taught this summer abd ensure they have another valuable lifeskill under their belts!
*Pictured clocking on to a new subject with her teacher is Jane.


Friday, 24 August 2012

Dipping into pool

Thanks to Furniture for Education our children now have a full sized pool table and uncle Billy has been teaching them how to play.... and Johnnie is keen to get in some practice.
But we also have a mini-pool table and out littlies are intent on scoring points. Pendo beat Natasha who too her revenge by getting hands on to push the ball every which way!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

What's cooking?

Making pies from grass and leaves, copying the style, if not the ingredients, they have seen cook Uncle Josphat display in the kitchen, some of our toddlers lose themselves in an imaginary world.
Others stride about the gardens as if on the catwalk, oblvious to the camera, just enjoying the fun and freedom of the garden.
They can play together for hours, but the ever-watchful eye of a housemum or helpful hand from a big brother or sister is never far away.

What's cooking?

Making pies from grass and leaves, copying the style, if not the ingredients, they have seen cook Uncle Josphat display in the kitchen, some of our toddlers lose themselves in an imaginary world.
Others stride about the gardens as if on the catwalk, oblvious to the camera, just enjoying the fun and freedom of the garden.
They can play together for hours, but the ever-watchful eye of a housemum or helpful hand from a big brother or sister is never far away.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Heading home

It was a sad day for Charlotte Poulter and Saskia Flower when they said goodbye to our family.
But no volunteer leaves without a handmade card  and certificate to say thank you and to wish them a safe journey, presented at a gathering of all the kids.
Saskia (in blue) received her card from Jane  while it was Alex who did the honours by making a presentation to Charlotte.
The sixth form students from London, have been a huge help assisting our teachers and housemums.
Thank you girls for all you have done.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Purr-fectly Happy

Our Happy is a the purr-fect pet.
She;s placid, easy going and very tolerant. She had a hard time from our two little mischief makers Ushindi and Harrison when she first arrived in our family they would sneak and pull at her tail  or tug at her ears however much they were told not to.
Happy never complained. Uncle Billy says: "She obviously picked up on the cues that soon rather than later the "teething troubles" would be a thing of the past and the little boys would love her and treat her as their dear fruebd,
"It is now that scenario that is typical with Ushindi and Harrson acting as her bodyguards, They not only make sure she is fine but also that she remains Happy.  Truly Happy moments,"

Monday, 20 August 2012

Grandpa comes to play

Grandpa Yaa is a nifty 93 and thinks nothing of getting down on the floor for playtime with our babies.
Grandpa, who generously donated the land on which the Happy House is built, is always a welcome visitor.
He spent some time with the babies in the baby banda, before showing off  his agility with a hula hoop in a lesson from the older kids.
Auntie Velma says: "Grandpa asked me to take a picture while he was here and said he is happy to play with the kids whenever he has time, especially at this time when they are on holiday."

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Lesson for life

Encouraging children to take responsibility for their actions, to care for others and to work hard are subjects embraced with enthusiasm at the weekly PPI lesson.
There is a spiritual message, too, presented simply for young pupils by our teachers.
It maybe the school holidays, but in Kenya for two weeks after school breaks up children attend school each morning for tuition which cements what they have learnt during the terms and is also an opportunity to work on an improve any problem areas.
So the PPI lesson went ahead as usual on Friday and Auntie Velma was on hand with her camera to take this picture.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Maria's birthday

Our lovely Maria is this week's birthday girl.
And no birthday would be complete without a present. Auntie Joyce, who assists our cook Uncle Josphat in the kitchen, makes the presentation.
And Maria happily poses for pictures while all her younger brothers and sisters look on, eagerly waiting to see what is in her bag.
Happy birthday, Maria.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Christmas is coming ... by the sackful!

The Christmas spirit is positively bubbling over at Mama and Papa's Blackpool apartment.
Never mind that it's only August, we are already packing up parcels of clothes and presents ready to get out to our Happy House family for Christmas.
You are responding so generously to our Christmas Appeal that we are on track to be able to give each of our children a new outfit of clothes, plus a couple of presents.
Santa's fairies, Coral Blackhurst, Lynn Baya Thoya, Elizabeth Gomm  and Sue (Auntie Coral, Auntie Lynn, Auntie Libby and Mama to our kids) got together yesterday to start sorting clothes and gifts into categories, while Papa provided the muscle and packing expertise!
Mama said: "We are overwhelmed and so touched by the way you take our family into your hearts. Everything you donate will bring so much excitement and happiness.
"Every day another parcel arrives, it's like Christmas here every single day!
"You are just so very kind and we thank you so much."
If you would like to donate new clothes (new clothes are very special to our children and Christmas is a special time)  or would like to purchase a gift from Mama's Happy House Christmas Wish List please visit
* Pictured from left: Auntie Coral, Auntie Lynn, Auntie Libby and Mama Sue.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A very special job ...

Putting hope into the hearts of children is Mama Sue's mission in life. Every hour of every day, Mama's prime concern are her Happy House children, those who are in her family there now, and others, over many years to come, who will find a refuge within its walls, 
"It's a very special job", she says. And what better title for our latest video - a mix of stills, and movie footage, which gives an insight into the work of the Happy House and the magic is weaves on young lives,
Award winning photographer, Sheila Davies, who visited the Happy House for the first time last month has produced A Very Special Job.
It is one of 80 audio visual presentations from hundreds of submissions to be selected for a showing at the International Royal Photographic Society AV Festival in Cirencester next month.
We really hope that for Sheila , who sponsors our Rukia, it will be a festival winner ... for us her av is already a winner and we will be using it whenever we can to put our message across to others. Thank you to Sheila for the effort, enthusiasm and expertise you have put into making this for us.
To see it for yourself please click on this link  and please show your friends and colleagues.  
Mama still has so much work to do, so many more children to who need her.
 Please help her  - hers really is A Very Special Job.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Meeting Moses

There's a new face at the Happy House, trainee social worker Moses Mosega.
Moses,19, grew up in a children's home himself, where our Uncle Billy once worked, and is now studying community development at Mt Kenya University.
Moses is with our family for a month  and settling in well, getting to know all the children. Here he is pictured with our David who is coming on so well with all the extra help he needs readily available.
Here, Moses describes what  being at the Happy House means to him:
It is hard to explain how I feeI about the entire family of the Happy House. Their beautiful and handsome faces take me back to my younger years when I was in such a position and still in a Children Home.
The environment here  is cool which will enable these young angels to realize their capabilities and abilities in life. Being in Happy House tells how it must of been for the child before coming to the umbrella of this house.
The house mothers have clearly taken the responsibility to own these children as their own which is clear from the undivided love and hard work they have towards the kids . All the other workers at the home generally have taken that initiative to tirelessly work for the betterment of the family.
I   received a warm welcome and I feel at home fully.
Any hand of help given to these young children will never go unrewarded because service to man is service to God.
May I take this golden opportunity to sincerely thank Sue Hayward for making the dreams of these children ,chartered by different challenges and difficulties in life, come TRUE.  Thank you once again.
I am grateful for the chance to be at the Happy House on attachment and feel sure it is the right place to be. Thank you.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Meet our Louise

Anyone who sponsors one of our children will recognise the name of Louise Webster .. but you are unlikely to know what she looks like.
This is the face behind the emails!  A wonderful volunteer Louise who, despite working as a medical secretary and being a very busy mum to Grace and her little sister Alice, still finds time to look after the sponsorship scheme over here .
It's a lovely job, because it's Louise who gets to introduce every new sponsor to the child whose sponsor family they are joining, and we know how much that means.
She liaises with Rose who allocates child to sponsor and then sends on the news. They are such an efficient team, and so fast.
Louise, married to Gary, lives in Yorkshire and they ventured across the Pennines last week for a day out in Blackpool calling in to see Mama Sue and Papa Dave while they were here... and Gary took this lovely picture.
Louise and her family sponsor our Oscar - Grace's Happy House "twin" brother and they can't wait to get to meet him. They have a holiday booked for August next year and are so excited at the prospect of seeing the Happy House  which was just a shell when they were last there, but the highlight will be getting to know their Oscar. Grace already has lots of plans for things she and her brother can do together.
Louise said they had a wonderful day in Blackpool.
"The went on lots of rides dug in the sand for hours and had donkey rides. We then went and sat near the beach, girls in their pyjamas, and had fish and chips at Little Bispham. They were shattered but didn't fall asleep until half way home, they'd had such a good day.
" And Grace's highlight of the day... seeing Mama Sue and Papa Dave."

Monday, 13 August 2012

Sharing and caring

We have been lucky enough to be given lots of football kits by Burnley FC but as some are too big for our own Happy House kids we are sharing them with Malindi United Soccer Academy, which kindly trains our kids free of charge.
The academy is run by Freddie del Curatolo for disadvantaged kids in Malindi. Freddie runs a very tight ship and only kids who attend school regularly are permitted to go, if they get into trouble, play truant from school or fall back in their lessons, Freddie will suspend them for a time.
This way the kids learn the importance and value of education. And they also know they will lose out on the game they love if they don't toe the line!
The academy has kids right up to young adults so the bigger football shirts will be a huge asset. Kids really aspire to have a football shirt to wear, so now the Clarets will have a following in Malindi as well as at the Happy House.
The kits were donated by Burnley FC via Burley-based charity Furniture for Education Worldwide,  which has recently shipped over a container of furniture for our school. Many thanks to both for their generosity. 
Here are pictures of our Happy House kids handing the shirts over to Freddie - and also of our team mascot and would-be goalie Linus, and his substitute Uncle Billy looking resplendent in their Burnley kit!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

End of term .. by Margaret, Janet and Mercy

School's out and everyone is looking forward to a busy holiday at the Happy House.
The closing day ceremony was captured on camera by Janet, official photographer for the event, and here she Margaret and Mercy share their thoughts on the day in the kids' first blog.
Margaret writes: "It was on Wednesday morning our teachers told us that we were going to close the school on Thursday. We were happy to hear that and when the day reaches, we are all happy, and cheering.
The parents arrived early. The programme was:
Opening prayer—Madam Sarah.
Scouts—Evans was the commander .
Speech – director
Song by KG 1—Madam Tanui .
Poem by kg 3—Madam Sara.
Shairi by kg3 and class 1.
Shairi by class 1, 2, and 3.
Indoor games—Mr. Athman.
We really enjoy the closing day.
I was  placed first in class and beat Evans again.
Girls are now normally the winner. They can't beat girls again!
Janet writes:  I was the camera girl and I took some photos which you are seeing on the blog. I think you will enjoy looking at the pictures. The pupils celebrated well and and they also had some games activities they played well and the winners were Fikiri  and Katana."
Mercy writes: Our closing day was good every thing was going well. We were happy because we were closing the school now we are at home helping. Today I was in garden and we took the maize from the cob  and sister Janet took some photos. On closing day the meal was rice and meat we enjoy our meal and some parents tasted the food and they said it was nice!  We were happy and smiling.
Thanks kids for sharing the excitement of the day. There will be more of Janet's pictures on our Happy House Facebook page later today:

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Just a-maizing

Maize, ,harvested fresh from the garden, has to be stripped of its leaves and kernals removed from the cob ready for our cook Uncle Josphat to make githeri ready for the kids to eat.
This simple but nourishing stew, popular all over Kenya,  makes a delicious meal, which the children love, so there was no shortage of helpers to get the veg ready for the pot!

Friday, 10 August 2012

A closing day

Sifa, Janet and Lucinda, our older children who attend Sawa Saw a School,  celebrated the end of the school term at the closing ceremony.
Closing day is a time of games and activities for the children, watched by family and guests, and for the presentation of certificates.
Our Janet (in yellow) came second in the bottle balancing contest and proudly received her certificate - which she will keep safely in her Happy House memory box along with all her other treasures.
Now the kids have the holidays to enjoy and lots of activities at home at the Happy House with their brothers and sisters.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Mariam's moment

Our lovely Mariam, a very caring big sister to her four younger brothers and sisters and to all her extended Happy House family, stepped into the spotlight at Kidz Club to celebrate her birthday.
And as Kidz Club is a time when all the family get together to mark the week's events, the honour of presenting the gift goes to one of the grown-ups.
This week it was the turn of our handyman, Uncle Lanson.
Happy birthday Mariam, from all your Happy House family around the world. 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Jobs in jeopardy ..but we have a few years yet!

It looks like our jobs are on the line! Evans is set on becoming  a social worker and running the Happy House (sorry Mama and Uncle Billy), Margaret wants the job of administrator (move over Auntuie Rose) and now the older kids are having lessons on how to blog so Auntie Libz, too, is under threat.
Seriously, we are just delighted that our Happy House kids are growing up with wonderful ambitions and aspirations, and will do everything we can to help them achieve their dreams.
How nice it would be, one day in the distant future, if this current generation of Happy House kids are heading up our family. They are so proud to be Happy House kids and embrace everything it offers to them but also they understand the ethos on which their Mama and Papa founded it.
We will, shortly, be giving our older kids a chance to write the blog one day a week and Uncle Billy has been showing them recent entries and giving them some guidance on what to look out for.
Evans recently took pictures of the kids with their own garden plots for the blog, and Mama wrote to him to congratulate him on his effort - a letter he shared in the blog lesson when his pictures were shown on screen.
Uncle Billy says:"Evans read his letter from Mama and everyone looked envious of his landmark achievements. I am sure there is gonna be lots of competition since they are evidently so interested in it all."