Friday, 28 February 2014

Love is all around

 Love was in the air at St Aidan's Cof E Technology College on Valentine's Day, when students baked heart shaped biscuits.
Students had pre-ordered for their Valentine's so the  biscuits could be personalised  with iced messages and delivered anonymously.
And at the centre of their affections was our Happy House family, which will receive the 50 pounds raised from the sales.
Mrs Joanne Rossall's class K7 are in our Linus's sponsor family and we thank them for all the efforts they put into raising money.
They also sent Linus this collapsing clown and once he got over the mystery of making it work just couldn't stop playing with it.
Thank you for all your love and support

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Booking time

 We can never have too many books for our  library so thanks to all those who bring them when visiting or send them to our family.
Every story gives our children another view of the world and helps them to develop their vocabulary, reading skills and imagination.So thank you to Susan Johnson, who with her mum, Sarah, is in Athman’s sponsor family, for sending these lovely books …which made their way to the library, African style.
Many thanks, also, to Sheena Dawson and Ann Summers, from Wantage, who sent some lovely items for our children with their friend Brenda Groves and also to Brenda's granddaughters, Chloe and  Lucy Groves, and their friend Jess Dancy for bringing more books and other things for the children.  Lily was very happy to be asked to help sort them out!
But as new items, which we are always so grateful for arrive, other items need repairing or replacing.
Right now, our baby cots have completely worn out.  Up to now we have been using travel cots but, like everything, here exposed to intense heat and high humidity levels  they have started to break down – after constant use and scrubbing the material has started to rot.
So we are biting the bullet and ordering six hardwood cots, which will be handmade by a local joiner, at a cost of 60 pounds each.

If you would like to help towards the cost of these, and any amount will be of help, please make a donation via JustGiving, with a message ''for cots''

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

School report: Exams, sports and open day

Madam Rose, school manager, reports:
Our pupils normally take their exams before we go for half–term.
The aim of these exams is to track each individual’s child progress, to evaluate improvements or otherwise and to identify the strengths and each area.
This means we can provide remedial help for anyone who is falling behind and set new challenges for those learn very fast.
We discuss the results with each child, and their parents, at an open morning and held two sessions for Mama Sue who went through the results with all her 77 children in school and their class teacher.
In other news our kindergarten children took part in the the KG inter-school games  when eight of our pupils were selected to the next level, the zonal level, be held at Dabaso Primary School
Neema Moschen wh won in sorting and grouping; Happy John won in tyre race; Haijiri Kithole won in chair race; Erastus Nguiya won in chair race and grouping and sorting; Elijah Shadrack won in threading; Mercy Changawa won in filling and emptying bottles and Maxwell Omondi won in dressing . Our picture shows Natasha Franco in the sack race.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Jog on

Healthy, happy and so active! The kids growing up in our family, fuelled by  fresh food, seem to have boundless energy. 
Sports, keep fit or any form of exercise and they are on the starting blocks and ready  to go.
Mama thought it would be nice for them to have exercise kits, so they now have shorts, tee shirts and, thanks to you, trainers.
One of their favourite activities is jogging and once a week, after school, they go out for a jog with sports teacher, Mr Steven, for a run through the local countryside.

Website gets a new look
Our website has been given a new look as we have moved to a new and supportive hosting company, Krystal Hosting.
Our fantastic webmaster and a trustee of our charity, Chris Franklin, from Devizes, is the man who has made it all happen.
Thank you  Chris.
Please take a look, leave your comments about the website or anything on it, or leave a message of support for our family and please, please, tell your friends all about us. You'll find the website at

Monday, 24 February 2014

Sun, sand and sea

 Watamu has one of the finest beaches in the world, and as it is right on our doorstep it's the perfect place for family trip out.
And as our kids were on mid-term break, it was also the ideal time to get out an enjoy the sand and the sea.
Volunteers Aleka Quintana and Fabiola Matute, Ally and Fab to the kids, plus teachers and house aunties supervised the outing making sure  that everyone was safe and sound on the walk to and from the beach and whilst they were there.
It is quite an expedition, and they went early so the children could enjoy themselves before the sun became too intense and they were all home well in time for lunch and tired out!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A farmer in the making

One of our keen young growers, Musyoka, is this week’s blogger and he wants to tell us all about his passion for gardening.
 I have been trying to plant some seeds so that I can see if they will grow.
I tried pumpkin, maize and some passion fruit. Was not me.
I f I want to be a farmer when I grow up I must learn to plant something so I may be a good farmer.
I have planted my plants where they have sun and water. Some people planted pawpaw and bananas but that was not me.
I have planted with Oscar and Hassan and I have planted something good.
Mama and Papa are working hard to make us happy here. I had never seen a place like this before.

Thank you.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

How is your child doing at school x 77!

Keeping up with your child's progress at school is so important to every parent ... so imagine what it is like when you have 77 children in school?
This week saw an open day at the Happy House when parents of our day pupils came in to meet their child's class teacher, with their child, to look through their work, hear results and to celebrate success or to see where improvements should be encouraged.
Education is very much a team effort and proactive parents are so important.
Mama Sue takes her role very seriously, as we all know, and she is a true mama to her kids. School manager Madam Rose thought the best way for Mama to keep up with the progress of all her children was to hold two special meet-the-teacher sessions just for her  and Uncle Billly and the children.
She and Uncle Billy are now fully in the picture and every child know how much their Mama cares about their progress and way they are trying to do their best.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Angel Karen earns her wings

Family angel Karen Lynne will be earning her wings when she tackles a 4,167 metre trek up North Africa’s highest peak for charity.
Karen, who is the Family Angel coach helping restore harmony to troubled families, is hoping to raise lots of money for our Happy House family.
It will be Karen’s first climb and  it  be a tough, but important, challenge.
The summit of Toubkal
 “When I stand on the top of Toubkal I will know that I can also climb the symbolic mountain which is my message to the world about the importance of family.”
 Karen, 53, of Chilton, Buckinghamshire, heard about the Happy House through  a friend.
 “I love that the Happy House is a home for life and no matter how many children there are they get a real sense of belonging to a family. I am a coach, I work with families to restore peace and harmony in the home.
 “I love the Happy House because Sue and her husband Dave provide all these things for their children.
 Karen who will be taking part in the guided trek next month with a group from Wish Women and,fittingly, they will reach the summit on March 8 – International Women’s Day.
 Karen, a former maths teacher and riding school owner, is currently in training walking long distances to build her stamina and fitness.
 “The climb is done over five days. The first couple of days are relatively easy and will help us climatise to the altitude. Day five is summit day and the real test. It will take approximately five to six hours to reach the summit but we will be walking for approximately 12-13 hours in total.
 You can support Karen’s challenge by making a donation online at

Thursday, 20 February 2014

A special moment for Chloe

There was a very special moment for Chloe Groves when she met her sponsor child, Said, for the very first time.
Chloe is making a return visit to the Happy House with her grandparents, Brenda and Red Groves, her twin sister Lucy and her friend, Jess.
But Chloe, who works in Stafford, has only been in a position to sponsor herself since last year and was so excited to be meeting Said for the first time.
Brenda and Red, from Wantage,  are in Charity’s sponsor family and have been visiting and helping the Happy House since building work started in 2008, introducing all their family to our own family and creating a real bond between the two. 
Mama was on the steps to greet them them, with Charity, Brian, who is sponsored by Brenda's brother Terry Stock, and Said.
Welcome back Brenda, Red, Chloe and Lucy and welcome to to Jess. We know you will have a lovely time.

Thanks to Peter and Jo Reid for braving a very bumpy two-hour matatu ride to come back to spend a second day with us.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

School report: Debating technology

This week's news from our school:
Technology, good or bad? That was the subject for a parliamentary style debate when our Happy House School went against nearby Progressive School.
The Happy House pupils were speaking for technology and put a very good case for why technological advances are making life so much better in the world.
Our speakers were Evans, Daniella, Margaret and head boy Joel. Musyoka chaired the proceedings.

The outcome was a draw between the two schools.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Sing a long with Jon Gomm!

Don’t let Jon Gomm play your guitar?  Virtuoso guitar player, Jon, was more than happy to let our Happy House kids try strumming the strings of Wilma’s understudy Lowden, Betty.
And then they gathered round to watch as he and his wife, Natasha,  an accomplished musician in her  own right, presented a workshop.
Jon told them all about how he makes many different sounds on his guitar, using it as a whole drum kit too. And many of them tapped along as he beat our various percussion sounds. He then added guitar, and voice.
Before they got the kids singing along to Bob Marley’s Waiting in Vain, Natasha explained to importance of breathing correctly when you are singing.
Our kids have never seen anyone like Jon perform before and watched with very serious expressions as they took in every move.
Jon will also be giving introductory lessons to some of our children who have shown an interest or musical aptitude on the two guitars he has bought for us (Musyoka is pictured having a try!)
Jon also joined in some dancing, taking a lesson in dance moves from Samson.

Thank you Jon and Natasha for coming along to play for our kids and for donating a percentage of every download of Passionflower to our family.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Friends and family

 People come to the Happy House to visit as holidaymakers and leave as friends and family.
Italian visitors Luigino and Valeria Basso with their son Daniel and the daughter, Gioia. had a lovely time when they came to see us and were very touched by all the work being done here to make children’s lives so much better.
They brought 200 euro and said they would like to go shopping to buy groceries and supplies, so Uncle Isaac took them to Timboni to buy essentials for our store cupboard. 
This is such a help as we have so many mouths to feed, so many clothes to wash, and our very big house – and our children- to keep clean!
It was a lovely gesture from a very kind family. Thank you. 
Visitors Timothy and Elizabeth Banks from Wincham, Cheshire, are here on a trip of a lifetime to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
They too were inspired by Mama Sue and what they saw and could see how we are raising the bar for the standards of childcare and education.
They wanted to join our family by sponsoring one of our children and were delighted to meet Alex, their new special friend.
Welcome to our family Tim and Liz, you will be making such a difference to Alex’s life as he will to your own.
Thank you .

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Reading and relaxing - by Sifa

The banda which has become a quiet reading room is a great hit with our kids as our blogger, Sifa, tells us:
Mama Sue built for us a good place where we can be comfortable when we want to sit and relax and read storybooks.
We like this place so much. we are happy that we have a place that we are safe and well. Like if you want to read a storybook, newspaper or magazine, you can choose what you want to read and enjoy yourself because you are in a good place.
 You can also relax there when you are tired and need to rest.
We like this banda Mama has made into a place to read and relax.
We Happy House kids will keep it clean and look after it, we can do that and show the small kids that it is important to look after things around us.
And we shall also look after them, our small brothers and sisters.
When they grow up they will be looking after the banda, because we are showing them good behaviours.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Pretty mades!

What little girl doesn’t love a pretty dress?
Our Happy House girls, from tinies to teens, love having a something new to wear.
And thanks to a group of Fylde coast sewing enthusiasts attending a workshop tomorrow at the Sewing Sanctuary, Marsh Mill, Thornton, we will be receiving 20 more pretty dresses just like these.
From 8am today sewers will be popping in to make a frock – taking their own material, or buying the materials (for less than a fiver) to make a frock for a child in the impoverished world.
Working to a simple pattern created by a charity called Dress a Girl Around the World, they will make a frock to be given to charity.
Because of the constraints of postage and airline baggage allowances we could only promise to take 20 for the Happy House, plus these made and donated by people wanting to help but who won’t be able to make it tomorrow, which Auntie Libby brought with her this week.
Our kids love them and we are extremely grateful to all those who are taking part tomorrow.

Big thanks to the Sewing Sanctuary and to all those sewing for thinking of us. Have lovely day, and happy sewing!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Gifts and groceries make such a difference

It’s lovely when friends come to visit and yesterday Jo and Peter Reid, last here in 2011 , spent a day at the Happy House.
And again, Jo and Peter, who live in Lytham, Lancashire brought so many useful items, donated by friends and  Jo’s colleagues at  Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, where she is a theatre sister.
Two full cases revealed so many things, including beautiful clothes, school socks, exercise books, pencils, toiletries, medicine, sanitary pads, plus a football and a rugby ball!
When Jo knew she was up to their baggage limit and friends still wanted to help she asked for donations and brought £55 towards our weekly shopping bill.

As soon as they pulled up back at the Happy House there were a lots of little ones, just home from school,   eager to help unload the car when they came back with rice, washing powder, nappies etc.
Our kids love it when our friends
bring shopping, they really seem to understand how important these basics of life are to our family … and they all love their food!
Peter and Jo were amazed and delighted to see all the changes they have read about on the blog for themselves and inspired by Mama’s vision and drive that has made the Happy House such a unique and special place. They are looking forward to taking home news of all the kids they met in 2011 to their own sons Jacob and Maxwell.
Thank you Jo and Peter and  thanks also to all your friends who donated money and goods for being so generous and for caring. 

We look forward to seeing Jo and Peter again before they go back home to Lancashire. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Bouncing babies feel the benefit

Baby Athman, one next month, has been causing some concern.
He's not coming on quite as we would expect. 
Mama and Uncle Billy have, as always, gone to every effort to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong and it is most likely that his poor and premature start in life has set him back.
Our experience with David illustrated the benefit of exercises designed to stimulate mentally and physically.
So Mama and Uncle Billy decided that that was the route to take with Athman.
And as he his companions in the baby banda are his big "sisters" Neema and Esther, they thought they might enjoy a bit of pamper time too.... and how right they were.
Social worker Florence, on placement at the Happy House, and volunteer Aleka Quintana from Mexico  are working together to put the babies through their paces at regular intervals throughout the day.
And as part of the programme our baby bouncer is back into action and Athman, Neema and Esther are all finding that, just like Tigger, they can bounce, too!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

School report: Teams triumph in friendly soccer

In today's school report, school manager  Madam Rose looks back on the highlights of the last week:
We have had a busy week preparing our lower primary pupils (STD 1, 2 and 3 ) for series of friendly matches in football. 
On Wednesday we welcomed a nearby school Alegra Academy.
In the boys football match the Happy house school won 2-0 against the opposing school team. 
Baraka Mkutano netted the first goal while a good goal by Hassan Ali brought the Happy House to triumph. Baraka and Hassan were celebrated as  men of the match.
The girls team also beat the opposition 2-1.
Football us a team effort and the success of the Happy House teams is down to the hard work of all the staff and players.
Our teachers are happy when volunteers join us at the Happy House School because they have a big role to play.
Aunty Pauline made brought French skipping ropes for the kids and  and was able to show them how to use them - all our children really enjoy through play and exercise

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Doncaster students make a difference

Doncaster College childcare students have been working hard to raise money for their chosen charity, our Happy House.
Students from the Caring For Children, Entry Level Award & Certificate course held a winter craft fair at the Hub, recently, to raise funds for our family
 Barbara Baines, lecturer for entry and Level 1 students at the college said, “Entry level students have had a winter craft fair and made craft items and games to raise money for the Children of Watamu. They raised £52 and put a lot of hard work in putting all this together and manning the stall.
They have had some lessons on looking after teeth and they have made some toothbrush bags to go to the Happy House. Also Level 1 students have made some alphabet bags to go to this charity as well.”
Childcare and Health and Social students have been regular supporters for the Happy House for a number of years now and along with college lecturers have raised thousands of pounds for us.
A very big thank you to all the lecturers and students for all you do for our children and to 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Walking on sunshine!

Are these really mine? If only the look of sheer joy on the face of these little boys could be bottled and sold, the Happy House would never want for another penny!
Owning their own football boots is something they could only dream about, and now, thanks to the magic that is the Happy House family, their dreams have come true.
After lour recent blog when we to; you that football boots and trainers for our older children who are now playing serious soccer, netball and volleyball, were high on our wish list, and very generous supporter stepped in with a  donation to buy 28 pairs of each.

And after buying them locally, they were bagged up in nylon shoebags sent out in last year's shipment from Furniture for Education Worldwide, and given out to our excited boys and girls by Mama and Papa.
Now al our aspiring young Rooneys, can live out their dreams, and hone their skills, on the Happy House field of dreams.
Thank you to our very generous donors for their wonderful gesture, and other donations for boots and trainers will go to replace pumps with sturdy trainers for our younger children, as playing games on ground based on coral takes its toll. In time we hope every child will have their own trainers.
If you would like to make a donation to help please go to