Thursday, 28 February 2013

Racing ahead to district

Our kindergarten kids did so well in the inter-school sports they are now set to take their place on the starting grid at the district sports,
Mwende proved to be a champion leaf threader, taking first place.
In the sorting races we had two winners - Ushindi for the boys and Natasha Franco for the girls.
We also produced winners in the tyre race.  David Mzungu won the boys race and Mariam was first in the girls' competition.
Well done kids! We are very proud of you and look forward to seeing how you get on in the district contest on March 22.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A degree of help

 A group of university students got down to some serious spadework when they made a visit to the Happy House.
They were keen to work wherever they were most needed and helped out with our babies, in the laundry and in the garden.
The enthusiastic young people are all studying at Kenyatta University, which has campuses                in both Nairobi and Mombasa.
They spent time with our kids and for our older ones it was a  great chance for them to find out more about the wider world and to learn about what universities have to offer.
The generous students also donated biscuits, tea, kitchen towel, sugar, cooking oil, rice,ugali flour, soap and washing powder , plus bringing some secondhand clothing/
A very big thank to all of them for putting in so much effort and for their very useful gifts.
We hope that they enjoyed their visit and seeing just how very special, and different, our children's home and school are.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A birthday first

There's a special kind of magic for every Happy House child when, for the first time in their life, they get to celebrate a birthday.
Before joining our family they were living in such dire circumstances that birthdays counted for nothing, they brought just another day of poverty and despair.
So for little Elijah, who joined our family in January with his elder brother Emmanuel, his fourth birthday will be unforgettable.
Not only did he receive a present at Kidz Club, and a rendition of Happy Birthday from all his "brothers and sisters'', he also received an Ecard from his sponsor friend, Margie.
Also celebrating a birthday was our lovely Lily...she was thrilled with her gift and greetings from all the family.
Charity night
We are appealing, please,  for raffle and tombola prizes, plus bottles (anything from shampoo to Chablis) for the bottlebola at our charity night on Saturday, March 16, at the Hotel Sheraton, Blackpool.  Tickets are still available at £15 each (inc light buffet) from

Monday, 25 February 2013

Timboni top up

Cristina , Bianca, Francesa and Roberto Quadrio Curzio  have returned home to Italy after a wonderful week in Watamu.
During that time they spent a lot of time at the  Happy House and as their week was finishing Cristina , Francesca and Bianca went shopping in Timboni with Uncle Billy.
Peek-a-boo Saumu
They had a lot of fun, and made new friends, whilst they bought our whole week's groceries - from flour and rice to sugar and shoe polish.
Uncle Billy said the family were  interested to see what was on offer in the local shops and to see so many household items in common with their own in Italy,
They also bought one of two things used in cooking locally to take home to try, and Francesa and Bianca bought baseball caps as gifts for Hassan and Katana who they sponsor.
"We went together in Timboni .They made new friends and surprisingly they wanted to buy Royco and tea leaves to take to Italy. They also noted that most of the products like shoe polish were common with the shop shelves in Italy. A small world indeed!''
When they got back to the Happy House there were lots of willing little hands ready to help unload the car and take the shopping into the house.
We are so grateful to them for the time they shared with our children and for all the items they brought with them and for the gift of groceries - it really makes a huge difference to have a regular bill taken care of in that way. Thank you from all the family. 
Cristina is speaking from the heart when she tells us about her trip:
Katana and Hassan
"The Happy House is a very special place. Me and my family spent one week in Watamu and all the afternoons with the children  who we found really exceptional. Smart, sweet, kind.
To be with them was the very best part of our holiday. They filled our hearts with joy, hope and cheerfulness.
Being with them was one of the most joyful experiences we ever had. 
We ask to every person who can help not to wait tomorrow! Give today.
You will be happy and feel part of a great and fantastic family who will give you the certainty that  the world can be a good place when you meet so many fantastic persons.
Thank you Sue for the incredible job you are doing together with your great staff!
Love Cristina, Bianca, Francesca, Roberto"

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I have a dream .. by David

In our Happy House family we believe that only by showing our children the stars can they reach out for them.
Mama, Papa, Uncle Billy and all the staff encourage each and every child to believe in themselves,tp be the best that they can be, and to know that by working hard they can succeed. 
Dreams can come true.
Today, the elder of our two Davids, David Karisa tells us of his ambition,one he has in common with other little boys the whole world over. 
David writes:
My favourite activity is football I like football because football makes me strong and it's part of exercising yourself.
 I normally play football because I want to be a football champion. I want to play and to be the best champion of the whole would like Messi, Rooney, and the other top players.
I want everybody in the world to know me and that am the best player.
  I want my dreams to come true as I wish.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Birthday bonus

 Birthday boy Musyoka not only had cards and gifts, he also received a visit from his grandfather.
His grandfather, who keeps in touch with progress of Musyoka  and his younger brother, Francis, and sister Mwende, came bringing the children's birth certificates.
Key ring from Auntie Lynn
The children were among the very first members of our family when Mama Sue opened her Happy House three years ago, and that is how long it has taken to get the children's vital documents.
Uncle Billy, our social worker, is constantly on the case with any known relatives of our children as it is their duty to come forward with birth certificates. But things move at a snail's pace and it can take months, or even years, for a relative to produce them.It is both frustrating and difficult for Uncle Billy.
The delay in getting birth certificates also explains why birth dates may not be as they were first thought to be, as what may have been the date given when a child arrived could be entirely different from the birth date registered when the birth certificate appears.
For Uncle Billy, this is another three off his list and he'll be grateful to Musyoka,  Francis and Mwende's grandfather for bringing them.
Charity night
 There are just few weeks until our charity night on Saturday, March 16, at the Hotel Sheraton, Blackpool, so please be sure of getting your ticket from Mama Sue. It's going to be a fun night and Mama will be looking back on our last year and telling you about some very exciting plans for the future. There will be tombola, bottlebola and raffle (we still need donations of prizes for all these please) and a great dj.
Tickets are £15 (inc buffet) from

Friday, 22 February 2013

Going Gaucho for £7,000

Two sixth form students from London, Charlotte Poulter and Saskia Flower have raised an incredible £7,000 for the Happy House in just one evening.
Charlotte and Saskia
Charlotte and Saskia, students at the Harrodian School, volunteered at the Happy House last summer and Charlotte, who sponsors twin Saumu, revisited when she was holidaying in Watamu with her parents at Christmas.
Mama Sue says: " What an achievement for young people to raise the money and buy the land for the future of so many children. It's brilliant."  The project -plans are now being finalised will be launched at our charity night and third birthday party in Blackpool on March 16.
Here Charlotte reports on their fantastic fundraiser: 
'' Saskia and I held a fundraising dinner at Gaucho Restaurant (Chancery Lane)  on February 5, for 114 people.
It was open to staff, students and parents of the 6th form at the Harrodian School. We were so happy with how well the whole evening went and everyone had a brilliant time. From  tickets (including a 3 course meal), donations, a raffle and a silent auction we raised £7,000 for the Happy House.
By the day of the event we had a waiting list of people who wanted to come but unfortunately the restaurant said they physically couldn’t squeeze any more people in!
The restaurant was buzzing once everyone arrived and the evening began with a welcome cocktail, kindly provided by my dad
From the start, the whole evening had a really lovely and enthusiastic atmosphere. Without asking, and to our delight, various friends of ours (from both years) decided to get involved and went round the tables trying to sell the prizes and make some money!
One of our friends became the model for a gold necklace we were auctioning whilst my headmaster, James Hooke, modeled a Belstaff designer jacket!
We had the whole ground floor of Gaucho, taking up most of the restaurant. On each table we had pictures of children with their stories for guests to read so they could appreciate what a vital role the Happy House plays in the children’s lives.
We had pictures of Saumu’s cheeky little face on our family table - I sponsor her and love her to pieces.
Saskia and I made a brief speech to thank everybody for their generosity and attendance and reminded them of what an incredible cause the dinner was for.
Our school has been very supportive in helping us to raise money for the Happy House and have taken great interest in everything that we have done so we would like to say thank you for that.
 We have done multiple assemblies and presentations at school too which we hope will raise more awareness, too.''
 Thank you Charlotte and Saskia for working so hard and raising so much money, and thanks also to everyone who attended, gave prizes or made donations,  and to their parents, the Harrodian headmaster, Mr Hooke, and staff for giving them encouragement and support.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Happy House: A unique place for children

Adriana Prieto is now back in the developed world after working with our family as a volunteer.
A graduate, from Mexico, Anna is in Florence where she is hoping to start her career.
But, she says, after being at the Happy House life will never quite be the same again:
"After three months volunteering at Happy House, my life changed.
Now I'm back to my “normal” life in Florence, but after being part of Happy House family nothing will be the same.
Those kids are part of me.
I lived for three months in Watamu, Kenya, spending  most of my time in Happy House, but meanwhile I had the opportunity to get  to see it from the inside and also  to get to know other local children's homes.
                  The Happy House is unique.
It is really sad to see how the other homes struggle day in day  out because of their lack of structure and organization. And also because a bad use of economics resources.
Friends of mine in Mexico ask me how and where they can send help, my only answer is: Happy House.
Why? Because I trust Mamma Sue and her staff. I know all the help you send you will see there, at the Happy House, in those kids. 
Kids who, every morning, wake up with a smile, excited to go to school, eagerly learning everything from French to music.
Happy House kids are kids like you and me, kids who are ready to go out to the world and who have the same opportunity to get a job, and that is because the preparation that Happy House is giving them. No difference.
Today everybody in Watamu  talks about Happy House as the best social project… and they are right.''

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Mum on the run

Mum of two Amanda Barron is pounding the pavements in a bid to raise £500 for our Happy House family.
Her previous best a schooldays 100 metres, she is now training for the 13-mile Bath Half Marathon on March 3, with her sponsor child, Margaret, as her driving force,
Amanda, mum to Oliva, seven, and Phoebe, four,  said: My children are being raised in a world of love, health, education, and endless possibilities.
They go to a fantastic school, they eat a healthy well balanced diet, they have never felt fear or pain. Their childhood is truly about fun and learning.  I feel very thankful for these things everyday.
 I find it hard to justify in my head why children like mine can lead this life while others in the world know nothing but hunger, fear and hopelessness.
Children all over the world are being exploited and abused.  Its not right and we need to do something about it.
Thanks to the Happy House, children who have known nothing but suffering and neglect, now feel safe and loved.  They are well educated, fed and cared for.  These children could change the world its up to us to help them get to that point.
Sponsoring a Happy House child is extremely special to me for many reasons.  I can talk to my children our next generation - about Margaret our sponsor child.  They understand from a young age how lucky we are and how it is up to all of society to help the less fortunate.  No one chooses where they are born and to what conditions, but anyone can thrive with just the right amount of support.
The Happy House has always made us feel a part of the family and a part of Margarets family.
Olivia has been able to email her with some questions about Africa for a school project which she then shared with the class.  We are sent regular updates on how our sponsor child is doing at school and it is wonderful to know that she is enjoying school and one of the top pupils in her class.  Her future should hold no barriers that she cannot knock down.
Amanda, married to Mark, worked in HR before taking time off the be a full-time mum.
Although I enjoy exercise and have always been fairly fit I have always hated running! I am reallso ify trying to be positive through all the training sessions but I have to admit I find it all extremely boring!  So the most competitive running Ive done is the 100 metres as a teenager. Im a very competitive person at heart Im going to do this thing I plan on doing it to the very best of my ability!
The thing that drives me is knowing that if I raise some money for The Happy House it will all be worth it in the end!’’
To sponsor Amanda, from anywhere in the world,  a visit

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Little people with big hearts

Three little girls with very big hearts started half-term by doing a sponsored run for the Happy House.
Sisters Charlotte and Natalie Barber and their friend, Abby, decided to put their free time to good use by making postesr, distributing leaflets and calling on their Blackpool neighbours to ask them to donate.
And then, with a dedicated dad in tow, they set off to Stanley Park where they completed a run of more than two miles. collecting as they went.
Charlotte, nine, Natalie, six, and Abby, nine, said people were very generous including a traffic warden who offered his £.
"One lady told us to keep running on the spot while she was finding her money!" said Charlotte.
The girls,neighbours of Elizabeth Gomm, had called on her earlier to ask her if she would take the money they raised to Africa for the Happy House and returned two hours later with their collection bucket.
They counted it together and it totted up to a wonderful £65.62.
"It makes you feel good to be helping," they said.
Charlotte and Natalie are pupils at Holy Family School, while Abby attends Layton Primary. They are now looking forward to telling their schoolfriends and teachers all about their fundraising effort and about our Happy House family.
Many, many thanks to Charlotte, Natalie and Abby and to Peter, Charlotte and Natalie's dad,Peter, for going along with them.
We are thrilled with your efforts and there is nothing quite like children helping children to lift your spirits and warm your heart.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Farewell our friend Anna

It was a sad day when the family said goodbye to volunteer Adriana Prieto.
Anna, our first volunteer from Mexico, spent several months at the Happy House and fell in love with our children and quickly came to think of the Happy House as her second family.
She was a fantastic help in so many areas, helping in school, on school and family outings and with our babies. She was happy to give a helping hand to staff where ever needed.
Graduate Anna was so happy in Kenya she really didn't want to leave.
We wish you a happy and successful future Anna, we know you will remember us always and look forward to the day you will come back to see us again.
*A school and family assembly said good by to Anna when Margaret presented her with a lovely handmade card to say thank you.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Being head girl... by Janet

Our primary school kids had a vote to choose who should be the head girl and head boy.
Day boy Nigel was chosen as head boy, while our own Janet was given the honour of been picked for head girl.
Today she is taking over the blog spot to tell us about this important role:
This is Janet writing about being a head girl at school.
They choose me as a head girl so that I can help the kids make the school silent and clean. Also I should make sure that all the class are arranged in order.
We go to school at half past seven.

Janet with some of our primary school pupils
I feel happy when I reach school because I like reading story books from the Library.
My favourite subjects are Science and Mathematics.
 We have now started practising for the sports and my favourite games are Athletic and Football.    

Saturday, 16 February 2013

A day for sharing

The Happy House family has grown to include the day pupils who attend our nursery and primary school.
By taking fee-paying pupils we are making the school self-supporting, which it has to be, and welcoming children to our classes from the wider community is great for our kids too.
So it's lovely when parents also feel touched by the family atmosphere of the Happy House.
Thursday was a special day for day pupil  Jayden Paul Katheka, he was celebrating hisfourth birthday. local business man, and mum, Sara, who works at a local restaurant went along to school taking cake and biscuits so that he could celenbrate with all the other kids.
They are so happy with the progress of Jayden and his sister Teresia Paul and say it is a wonderful
school for their kids.
Jayden is pictured celebrating with his sister, dad and school pals.
Thank you Paul and Sara for sharing your boy's big day with all the family.
Family birthday
And there was another birthday to celebrate at the Happy House this week.
This time it was our own Rukia who was on the receiving end of the birthday honours - when all her brothers and sisters sang her the birthday song .
Our Italian visitors Christina and her daughters, Francesa and Bianca, presented a very happy little girl with her gift.
Happy birthday Rukia.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Sweet-hearts for Valentines

Biscuits were the food of love at a Lancashire school yesterday.
Students at St Aidan's CE TechnologyCollege, Preesall,  sent Valentine Day cookies as their tokens of affection to their special friends.
And by buying the heartshaped biscuits they were showing their for our Happy House family - with all the money raised going to support our children.
The biscuits were homemade by Mrs Joanne Rossall's Form K7 - some, iced with personalised messages, were hand delivered so the admirer's secret remained safe!
Other plain hearts were sold to anyone wanting a sweet treat at break time..
The sale raised more than £100!
Special thanks to everyone involved from everyone at the Happy House and a special thank you to K7 from our Linus who they sponsor.
Pictured are: Top left:Katie and Jess with their biscuits 
Top right: Mrs Rossall with Anna and Joanne.
Left: Kayleigh and Harrison making biscuits
Bottom right:  Adam with his biscuit from a secret admirer.


Thursday, 14 February 2013

With love on Valentine's Day

It is Valentine's Day today, and also the anniversary of the day that these five children found , for the first time, love flooding into their lives.
Mama and Uncle Billy, responding to a call for help from the children's office, arrived at a Malindi slum to find the four older children alone in the ramshackle filthy hut.
 Fred, the youngest child was naked, the others were in dirty rags. There was nothing to eat,nothing to wear, noone to keep them safe, and Mama and Billy discovered they'd been left, sometimes for days, to fend for themselves while their mother took her youngest, just a baby, out to beg.
Uncle Billly and the children's officers who accompanied them, were, shocked to the core by the state of the children and their "home". Uncle Billy had never seen anything so bad in his 15 years as a social worker.
Mama said at the time:" I was just stunned that a mother could leave her children like this. I have worked here 11 years and seen many cases of extreme poverty, but this was not just poverty it was neglect in the extreme."
The sad little foursome were taken to the Happy House, Fred wearing an oversized t-shirt plucked from a nearby rubbish dump, and they were joined by baby Rose as soon as the children's office were able to locate the mother, apparently unconcerned about her children or their being taken into care.
At the Happy House, the children have discovered a life without fear, worry and neglect. Still a close family group, they no longer have to shoulder the responsibility of caring each other. They enjoy nourishing meals instead of the meagre scraps, scavenged from wherever.
They are happy, playful and safe, all are in school and doing well. Mariam,the eldest, who had never been to school before is fast catching up on lost time. They know they are loved, by their family at the Happy House and by those sponsors and friends of the charity in the wider world.
Mama says: "We picked our own Valentine's flowers that day and have, ever since, had the joy of watching them grow and blossom."
*It costs just 65p a day to  sponsor a Happy House child and will bring you, and your child, lasting joy.  Please email to find out how.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Grazie mille

An Italian family who sponsor three of our children spent a lovely time visiting the Happy House and seeing how they have grown.
Christina Giladi Curzio and her daughters, from Milan, brought so many useful things including clothes, books, crayons, pencils and toiletries.
They were so happy to see and spend time with Katana ,Karembo, Margaret and all the children.
Thank you for coming to see us and for all you have brought with you.
                                                   Tickets please?

Please book your tickets for our Happy House Charity Night and Third Birthday celebration at the Hotel Sheraton, Blackpool, on Saturday, March 16, from 7pm.
It's is always a fun evening and a chance for members of our children's sponsor families to get to know each other, to meet up with old friends and to make new ones.
We are all part of a very special Happy House family and with our third birthday in March, where better to celebrate and to raise as much money as we can for our kids .

Tickets are £15 each and are limited to 150 only - so please book early because we are sure it will be a sell-out event.
Once again, there will be a light buffet, dj, party games, tombola, bottebola, raffle etc .. plus a few surprises.

Once again manager Simon, has made rooms available in the Lodge for the Saturday night at £22 per person for bed and breakfast for those attending the charity night, for 2 nights in the main hotel the price will be £65 per person and will include dinner on the Friday night To BOOK call: 01253 352723 quote reference: BK38307. This year we will be emailing your tickets, wherever possible, to save on
costs so please email Mama - for payment details or,if you prefer your tickets by post, send a cheque (made payable to Happy House Project) for the number you require, along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope for your tickets to be returned in, to: Mama Sue Hayward, 49 Victoria Mansions, 187-191, Newton Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8QG


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Sporting day out

Our sporting kindergarten children were raring to get to to the finishing line when they took part in the district sports days held at Watamu Primary School.
The children from our Little Chicks Nursery School piled aboard the matatu (in relays) for the trip to the primary school where they were competing against pupils from other local schools.
Our kids enjoy taking part in any activities and always give their very best, but even when they are beaten they are always happy to cheer for the winner.
The sports day was great fun and enjoyed by everyone, including our teachers and volunteer Adriana.
Adriana took our pictures.
Happy House  kids who were placed in the days events were: 
Threading race:
1 Mwende, 2 Emanuel
Chair race:
1 Melis
Tyre race:
1 Mariam Safari, 2 David  ( day pupil)
Sack race:
1 Suleiman, 2 Salama
Sorting race:
1 Natasha Franco.