Sunday, 31 May 2015

A football treat - by Rukia

Last weekend, Mama and Papa took  a group of our most avid football fans on an outing into the village to watch a game on television. The kids loved it, and so did Mama and Papa as Rukia reports:
How are you I hope you are fine and me too?
I wanted to tell you that on Sunday we went to a hotel with Mama Sue and Papa Dave and we were going to watch a football match.
 I took some pictures while we were there.
,And we drank soda, and also we ate chips and sausage.
Mama was too generous to us.
We really enjoyed the day. 
Mama says: The match was Manchester United and Hull. It was a nil nil draw, but it meant that Hull city were relegated. On the same day all the other matches were played at the same time, so it was exciting for the us all to keep seeing reports from the other matches and the scores.
Habel at Marina Restaurant, made sausage and chips for the children with sodas. 
Dave and I really enjoyed our time with the 12 and we were all chatting and laughing.  
A good time was had by all.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Clothes from Italy

Our friend from Milan, Susanna Gregorio arrived back in Watamu this week and brought with her a special delivery of lovely clothes for our children and teenagers.
The clothes are gifts from Daniela Bonassi and Laura Astori who also live in Milan.and who fell in love with our family when they visited Happy House. Daniela is in Peninah's sponsor family.
Friends at home as well as on holiday, Daniela and Laura knew that Susanna would be
happy to take the clothes and messages to Mama with her on her latest trip..
They also sent pictures of their visit to Happy House.
Thank you Laura and Daniela for your kindness and thanks to Susanna for playing postman!
Pictures: Above: Daniela with Peninah, Laura with one of oyr identical twins Peter and Paul; Daniela, Laura and Susanna.   Right: Susanna and Mama.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Hassan, the perfect young gentleman

 Good manners are so important in life and at the Happy House our children are growing up to be courteous and caring towards each other.
When our fabulous friend Francis Asher, Uncle Frankie to our kids, spent three months volunteering with our family he chatted to them about always being polite and respectful.
He introduced the boys to the concept of "ladies first" and being young gentlemen!
They haven't forgotten.
This week Mama Sue chose Hassan as her special Star of the Week for being so respectful towards the girls.
Mama was impressed that when, at a meeting with some of the older kids in the family,.Hassan immediately stood to offer his seat  when the girls arrived after the boys and all the seats were taken..
"It was just lovely and so spontaneous," said Mama "he is always so helpful and polite,"
She had great pleasure in presenting him with a certificate at Kidz Club.
Four birthdays were also celebrated with presents handed out to each very happy child.
Auntie Rose made the presentation to Husna,  Uncle Billy to Harrison, while Susanna Gregorio, a great friend from Italy, handed Selina her gift.. Susanna and Papa did the honours by handing Johnnie his birthday bag.
Well done Hassan for being a perfect gentleman and Happy Birthday to Selina, Harrison, Husna and John.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Two little boys go home to dad

After a year with our family, two little brothers have gone home to live with their dad.
Saul (left) and Teddy had been living with their mother, who was not married to their father, when they were taken into care having been deemed in need of protection.
Their dad, who loves them very much, has visited as often as he could and we have been working with him and the children's office in Malindi to bring about their repatriation.
Their dad and his family have been granted joint custody of the children and Saul andTeddy have joined a school near their grandparents' home.
Their father has taken leave from his work to ensure that the boys have time to settle and adjust to their new home. 
The family are intent on working together to ensure the brothers have a happy, safe, and fulfilled childhood.
For the little boys this is the best possible outcome. 
It is our duty in law to maintain contact with family members and to work towards uniting families when possible and children's services will keep a watchful eye on their progress so that we know all remains well.
Once again, the Happy House has been a a refuge of love, safety and support for children in a time of family crisis.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

School report: Mining lesson from Papa

 This week we have had many different activities, reports Madam Sarah.
 After school, our students were practising their athletics with sports teacher Mr Steve was in charge. 
They were running as fast as their legs could carry them hoping to make it to a  better level  and to  make Hayward’s Happy House School proud.
The weather was the subject for a painting session with playgroup and kg 1. the weather is  in the syllabus this term and learning about different types of weather and making pictures helps the children to understand and remember what they are learning.
Papa Dave came in to school talk about mining in the classes 6, 7 and 8. 
Papa, who worked as a coal miner when it was a young man, explained more about advantages of mining and he came with learning materials for them to understand more.
It was an interesting lesson and much enjoyed.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Life is a celebration

Mama and Janet
An annual celebration of life is held every May at the Happy House to coincide with the anniversary of the death of the most influential man in Mama Sue's life  - her father.
It was the death of Sue's beloved dad, Harold Hayes,in 1999, that led to her going to Kenya and the start of the journey which has brought us to her Happy House.

When Harold died suddenly, Sue was devastated and eight months later, fearing she would have a breakdown, Dave took her to Kenya for a holiday and it was there her charity work began.
Auntie Lucy
And celebrating life is what Harold would have wanted for his daughter, and what Mama wants for her Happy House kids who have suffered so much loss and hardship before coming to us.
With this in mind she decided on a celebration of life each year in May.
"This year's celebration of life was just lovely and very moving," says Mama. "We started with the Lord's Prayer, and I thanked God for bringing us together
"Then I spoke about my dad, Dave his mum, Billy his dad and brother, and three of the aunties and four of our teachers spoke of their loved ones. 
The children sang a lovely hymn they sing in church and and later sang "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."
"The teachers then sang a very moving song about a train coming when it's your time to go and you telling your loved one, I am OK my dear.
"It was very emotional but also very uplifting."

Monday, 25 May 2015

Secondary school on its way

Our secondary school is a story of two parts.
The first phase (left) comprising of library, computer room, science room and offices is almost completed.
A single storey building, these first rooms are at the front of the building and will be shared by both the lower and secondary schools which is why they have taken priority.
The back of the building, currently just a shell, will, funds permitting, provide the four secondary school classrooms which we must have ready to open in January next year, when our first primary class eight is ready to move up.
The library, computer room and offices will be in use shortly, but we will stop there. 
Our building funds are exhausted and Mama and Elizabeth are working hard to find sources of funding to complete the build.
It was only because of generous donations, including £5000 from Blackpool Soroptimists for the science lab, an essential requirement for the secondary school,  that we have been able to get this far so quickly.
Our Happy House is saving and changing young lives and our school is giving those youngsters, and others from the local community, the best education possible.
It's a real achievement and we are indebted to all those who believe in what we are doing and support us so generously.
Thank you.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Keeping busy, by Victoria

Last week Rukia told us all about the fun of holiday club, and this week it is also the subject chosen by junior blogger, Victoria.
Victoria writes: "We had a nice  holiday  club  this  week. On Monday we had different  activities.
We started at 9am and we break at 10.30am.
From  nursery up to class three, the activities were colouring.
Class four were going to work with Uncle Telvin in the garden..Class five  were going to help Aunty Phyllis in the  kitchen.
Class six  were going to help Uncle Charo to carpenter.
Classes seven   were sewing and class eight were doing some studies.
I like all the activities we do.
Then on Friday we went to the beach to enjoy swimming in the sea.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Birthday bags for four!

There were goody bags and greeting for four of our children who are celebrating their birthdays this week. 
Mama, Papa and Uncle Billy shared the honour of presents gifts to the kids who were so excited that it was their special day.
Papa handed Said his birthday gift, Uncle Billy presented a gift to Jacinta, while Mama gave Janet her present. 
Uncle Billy and Papa happily posed for a pictured with Rukia after she had received her gift bag.
Happy birthday kids.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Ready, steady, race ...

 Our young athletes have been showing off their prowess on the track.
With an area sports day coming up for schools, they have been been going through trials for a chance to represent our school.
Sports teacher Mr Steve and other teachers have had the difficult task of choosing those who are most likely to bring home the results for our team.
Good luck kids. We know you can do it!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Cheers as little Chesco joins our family

After a sad start in life, little Chesco has a reason to smile.
Abandoned by his mum, who is known to be a drug addict, he was living in poverty with an aged relative in very poor health.
She was is so infirm that her mobility is badly affected and she had suffered a fall the previous week caused by her trying to carry Chesco on her back.
When he was rescued he was in a sorry state - dirty, half naked, bare footed and hungry.
His mother's whereabouts are unknown, although she is understood to be still in the area.
Chesco , who is thought to be about 16 months old, was deemed to be in need of protection and Happy House was called.
The whereabouts of his mother are unknown but she is believed to be somewhere in the Watamu are.
Chesco (pictured with Uncle Ronald, placement social worker) was welcomed home to Happy House by his new family who gathered to greet him, excited to see their new brother for the first time.
Mama Sue said: "  He is just lovely. We had biscuits at Kidz Club and he was breaking them up and sharing with everyone until all he had was crumbs
"He's a little joy."
It costs £20 a month (around 65p a day) to sponsor to Happy House child. We desperately need  more sponsors to join our family and to help us give the children in our care the best chance in life.
To find out more please email

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

School Report: Lessons to feed lively minds

 Now in the third week of term, all is running smoothly despite it being the rains, writes Madam Nelly.
Monday is  guidance and counselling day, and last week, after lessons pupils and teachers gathered in the banda for a talk on the theme of discipline, led by Mr Isaac.
Our students enjoyed the session because it was interactive and they were very much involved .
They assisted by reminding one another on how they should behave.
In Kindergarten, teachers have been spending extra time with a few pupils who are struggling in certain areas of classwork..
Classes 6,7 and 8  sat their "wake up" exam  - a common examination which is taken in both Government and private schools in the district.
Day one, the subject papers were maths and English and  on day two were science, Kiswahili and social studies.
We have great hopes our school leading in the district.
The KG 2 pupils enjoyed a practical lesson demonstrating the many uses water,  when, in one illustration, Mercy Changawa showed the others how water is used for washing laundry!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Boxing clever for Happy House

Our friend Chris Howard is on a new-found health regime to get fighting fit.
Chris, who lives in Dubai, has to shape up so that he can take part in a boxing match and is aiming to raise money for the Happy House in the process.
Chris and his family have been supporting Happy House for a number of years and visited on several occasions.
Both he and his son, Jack, have organised or taken part in events before to raise money for us and in the latest challenge, Chris is going us testing himself to the extreme on an eight week training programme.
"After 35 years of abusing my body I have decided to take part in the Lee Hurford Business Boxing Cup!
"First I must get fit through the training the programme at the Lee Hurford Boxing Academy to see if  I can make it to fight on the June 12.
"I am asking  all my friends , colleagues and family to support me in donating whatever they can  for the kids at the Happy House - a charity I and my family have supported for many years."
Chris, who started his training knowing he would have to shed nine kilos, is toughing it out through the training which also means giving up beer and McDonalds.
Good luck Chris, we know you can do it!
To support Chris please visit:

Monday, 18 May 2015

Stepping out ... thanks to you

When we put out an appeal for plastic clogs for our kids, you, our wonderful friends, walked the walk.
You responded so generously that dozens and dozens of pairs of clogs, of all colours and sizes, arrived in Blackpool ready for Mama and Papa to take back with them.
And the children who needed them are now walking with a spring in their step and delighted with their new shoes.
Thanks to everyone who donated and a thanks also to Wynsors World of Shoes who contributed 48 pairs of clogs, plus hundreds of pairs of black school socks for our boys.
Wynsors very kindly arranged for the shoes and socks to be delivered to their Fleetwood store so Elizabeth could collect them.
Supervisor Ann Shadbolt and assistant Marie Hone (left) were happy to hand them over.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Holiday club fun by Rukia

Rukia takes over the blog today to tell us about the holiday club.
I really like having holiday clubs.  Why? because we have different activities.
Like football, netball, volleyball, swimming.
Swimming is always on a Fridays only, in football it’s always every day  and  I really like playing football, and also netball is the best to me.
Lastlly  is  volleyball and it is always played by the students of class 8.
In the last week of holiday club before we returned the school,  on Wednesday  my class, class five,  had computer in the morning and  we are  writing blogs after blogs we played computer games.
The next activity telling time , times tables then and then games .
On the Friday we had swimming. I always look forward to that.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Radiant Auntie Rose

Our beautiful Happy House Auntie Rose is truly blooming!
Auntie Rose. our administrator, is happily expecting her second child in September - the same month as her firstborn, Joy, will be two.
Auntie Rose, who celebrated her birthday this week,  and her husband Fred are delighted to be adding to their family, and of course Mama Sue and Papa Dave  and all the family are looking forward to having the new baby as their honorary Happy House kid.
Many, many congratulations Auntie Rose, Uncle Fred and Joy.

Friday, 15 May 2015

It's our birthday!

 What's in your bag, then?
Jonathan gives his twin brother James a sideways look as they pose with their birthday bags.
Four this week, the two little boys are very close but you can't help wondering just what they're thinking on this cute picture captured at Kidz Club.
Natasha Thoya  (below left) and Fatuma Said have also been celebrating their birthdays and there were songs, greetings and presents for them all at the weekly family gathering when everyone was delighted to have Mama and Papa back home again after their trip to the UK.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Cool running and Grazie Piera

Our great northern runner Will Gordon brought us smiles for his miles when he took part in the Leeds Half Marathon at the weekend.
Will, who is in Musyoka's sponsor family, smashed his fundraising target of £1,500  totalling a fantastic £2,257 in sponsorship from his fabulous family, friends, colleagues, and neighbours in the village of Thorner, near Leeds..
Will was disappointed that after making good time, he pulled a muscle which slowed him down but, despite the pain, he made it to the finish.
Thank you Will for all you do to help our family. Every penny will make such a difference to our family. 
Many thanks to everyone who donated.
Will is pictured with his children Georgia and Luke.

Grazie Piera

 Another wonderful friend, Piera Lauria, from Milan, has once again raised lots of money for our family.
Piera, who has visited Happy House twice with her husband, Oscar, and son Mattia, made a magnificent 800 euro from selling 2015 calendar featuring photographs taken at the Happy House and others taken by Oscar in both in Kenya and in Tazania.
The calendar with its vibrant images not only raises money but awareness too, as those who use the calendar are reminded of our children and our work every single day.
Piera and her friend Elena worked hard selling the the calendars which have brought us just so much.
Thank you Piera, Oscar and Elena for making our day!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

School Report: Back to a busy start

First week back at school after the holidays. Mr Mdachi reports:
School has restarted for the second term of the year which lasts for 14 weeks.
And it was straight down to serious learning as there is much to be done to cover the syllabus and for revision.
The success of our school and our end of term closing ceremony, which was so colourful and entertaining, has resulted in some of our visitors seeking to transfer their children to our school. We have been interviewing and assessing  them so that we can place them where they fit. 
Our  year eight candidates who are sitting for the National exam in early November are seriously revising and committed to their work with the help of their teachers.

Here in Watamu, the weather has changed and its now cold and raining. We have advised our children to bring and wear their school sweaters.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Building a bond with Cheadle Hulme School

 There's a real joy in introducing schools to the work we are doing at the Happy House.
We share so much in common with them, committed as we are to giving our children the very best chance in life.
At Christmas, students at Cheadle Hulme School filled shoeboxes which were sent to our family - bringing so much excitement and pleasure to our kids.
This was arranged by Project Legacy, a charity founded by Manchester businessman Paul Naden whose daughter is at the school.
So it was very special for Mama Sue and Elizabeth to meet staff and lower school pupils at Cheadle Hulme and to meet Paul before Mama headed home to Kenya.
Project Legacy and the school have pledged to help raise the £15,500 we need to finish our secondary school which must be completed, and ready for its first intake from upper primary,  by January 2016.
After meeting with teachers, Mama Sue, Elizabeth and Project Legacy's Emma Burne enjoyed lunch with some of the children, before an afternoon assembly.
Mama was introduced by lower school head, Caroline Dunn.
Against a backdrop of slides showing our children at home and in school, Mama spoke about her family. This  was followed  by a lively session when the students had lots of questions to ask, so many that we ran out of time!
Mama was thrilled to meet one young man who when taking part in a school project to write about an inspirational world figure,  had chosen our own Mama Sue as his subject.
The lower school and Project Legacy, will work together to fundraise for the Happy House with the first event being a beach party later this summer. They are also considering  a School Backpack Appeal for Happy House at Christmas.
Led by Paul Naden, Project Legacy is a  charity committed to delivering projects with sustainable solutions and driven by issues such as education, community development and protecting endangered species.
They have set up a donation page specifically for donations to Happy House for the Cheadle Hulme/ Project Legacy partnership:
Donations can be made at:

Monday, 11 May 2015

Mama and Papa home to family joy

 After a long journey from the UK, Mama and Papa arrived home safe and to the warmest welcome in the world.
They had been missed from the moment they left two weeks earlier, so the kids were simply jumping up and down with excitement knowing they were coming home.
They went straight to school where children and staff, both from home and school, had gathered to greet them.
After a good night's rest, they spent Saturday morning catching up with the children's news and sharing news of their trip, before settling down all together to watch our new Happy House film - Love, Laughter and Tears.
The film, made by Massimiliano Zeuli. and starring our family was cause for great excitement.
Uncle Billy said: " It was truly appreciated as masterpiece  by all present staff  and children."
Mama and papa still have a lot of unpacking to do but they had got some of the generous gifts sent by friends.
These included a belly dancing dvd sent by DawnHeather White, which sparked an instant demonstration!
There were football boots for Janet and Margaret, plus other sports equipment, sent by Jo and Peter Reid and other friends.
There was also a parcel from Paul Hatch which, to Papa's delight, included a Leeds Shirt which he is showing to Evans and  a card for Salama.
A lovely time together finished with a celebration cake which went down a treat!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

A happy school, by Fikiri

Our Happy House kids are back to school this week, and the joy of their new school, just down the lane from  home, is a strong as ever.
Fikiri, today's junior blogger, tells us about the first time he saw it:
"It was on a Saturday morning that we saw our new school for the first time.
We were going to the market that early morning, but were were told to wait for instructions.
When Mama Sue came she said that we shall not go to the market,   that we are going to the new school. 
When we went there ever body was surprised .
All of us Happy House kids they said that the school is very big.
The small kids were very happy to see their classes,  even the big pupils when they went to their classes they were saying that the classes are very big. 
Now we have settled in our school. This is the second term.
It is a very happy school."

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The wide world of dance

Our kids have a natural sense of rhythm.
From the moment they can walk they can dance and as well as making their own amazing dance moves, they can pick up new dances in a jiffy.
One advantage of having visitors and volunteers from all over the world is that they introduce our children to new and exciting activities in arts, crafts and other fields.
Auntie Dawn Heather White on her most recent trip gave the girls a glimpse into the traditional art of belly dancing which has its roots in Middle Eastern culture but which is taught as both a form of art and exercise in classes all over Europe.
Dawn Heather who lives in Bangor, Northern Ireland, had packed some essential coin-festooned hip scarves and music,  so she could host an introductory dance class for Margaret, Janet and headmistress Madam Rose
Uncle Billy said: "As you know we like our children to take any opportunity afforded to them. When our friend Dawn Heather said she could belly dance, it was too good to miss.
" She had brought some music and the special wraps that tinkle as the dancer moves. 
" The girls loved it and as always with our kids they could do it immediately.
" The girls  had lots of fun and promised to show their sisters."
Thank you Dawn Heather for the lesson and for sending a dvd to give them a chance to teach themselves ... which we know they will!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Homeward bound after a lovely trip

Mama and Papa will be arriving back home this morning after two busy weeks in the UK.
They've had a lovely time catching up with old friends and making new ones as they never fail to inspire those they meet.
A highlight of their trip was the wedding of Steph Hill and Gavin Kelly on Saturday in Blackpool.
Steph, now mum to Theo, is devoted to her little sponsor child, Lily.
She has been helping our family since 2009 when she and her sister. Lynsey, did a bungee jump to help towards finishing and furnishing the Happy House which was then under construction.
When the Happy House opened, Steph became the first member of Lily's sponsor family and our youngest sponsor.
Steph and her family have are great friends of Mama and Papa and having them at her wedding meant a great deal.
"It was a really lovely day and Steph was a beautiful bride," said Mama.
On Sunday,  more friends Terry and Wendy Burns of Furniture for Education Worldwide, who have been supporting Happy House since the early days and provided all our school furniture and much of that we have in Happy House, called over to see Mama and Papa and brought with them this special shield to mark the friendship between our charity and their own.  It will take pride of place in the Happy House,
Mama and Papa travelled light when they came here, so they could take back with them many of the essentials so needed by our children and which you have so kindly donated, including dozens and dozens of pairs of croc-type shoes.
So when they set off for the airport they had a boot load of bags all filled to brim.
They will be home this morning and back with the kids who have been looking forward to their homecoming from the moment they left!