Sunday, 31 January 2016

The business of learning, by Charo

Gaining a scholarship to Happy House School was a dream come true for 15-year-old Cosmus Chiro.
With the scholarship came the one thing he wished for - the certainty of an education.
He relishes going to school every day and here he tells us why he likes one subject in particular - business studies,
My favourite subject is business studies. Why?
Because this is a booster subject - it boosts all my subjects in my timetable..
I enjoy business because I find it easy to understand, 
It teaches us about the work that is done by either an individual or an organization for a view of getting profit. 
As a subject we say that it is a living subject because we we cannot live without working. 
Business as a subject is good and well because it prepares us to deal with any job in life  - we learn about about production, distribution and consuming. 
When one becomes a business man or a lady, he or she must strive to to get a profit and avoid a loss.
* We are desperate to find sponsors for Charo and other scholarship children. If you could help a young person like Charo have a bright future in our school, please email Elizabeth Gomm for details:

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Greetings from little friends in Somerset

A lovely Christmas card brought new year smiles to our children.
It arrived a little late because Auntie Libby though the safest way to get this precious card to its destination was with Uncle Scott and Auntie Laura when they were travelling.
The card was made by our family's friends at Next Steps Childcare Centre in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
Next Steps and its sibling centre for the Wedmore area, Little Owls Child Care Centre, are loyal and caring supporters of our work.
Our children were thrilled to see the card, so lovingly made, and the photos of their little friends in Somerset.
Thank you to everyone at both Next Steps and Little Owls for being so caring.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Birthday twosome

Scott with Rose (left) and Sudi
Two little girls at Happy House have their birthdays this week.
Rose was six on Monday and Sudi turned eight the following day.
Both birthdays were celebrated at Kidz Club when Uncle Scott was asked to present the children with their gift bags - very special for him as he and his wife, Laura, are in Rose's sponsor family.
There was also a special treat for all the children thanks to our friend and sponsor Angela Carmon.
Since we expressed concern about the amount of money being spent in tax and postage on sending parcels, Angie made the donation instead of sending gifts - and asked if all the kids could have mangos at Kidz Club as she knows they love them.
We were very happy to oblige, and to the children's delight they all received some juicy fruit!
Thank you Angie for your kindness.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

At nine, Priscilla can be a child

 Priscilla is nine years old and has no idea what it is like to be a child, to go to school or just to play.
The daughter of a mentally unstable mum, she was given shelter by her grandmother who died of cancer in November.
Priscilla was then passed on to great aunt, also ailing and old, who sent her to live in a friend's compound where she was working doing chores as a housegirl, with all her meagre earnings going to the old lady.
She was referred to Happy House by a Malindi care home where her two elder siblings have been living for the past two years,
We have been told Priscilla is nine but we do not yet have an exact date of birth, 
Uncle Billy says: "We are following the case closely. She has never seen the inside of a classroom therefore having  to start from scratch.
 "Welcome home Priscilla
"There is always room for more, how glad we are to be always to be here,  willing and able to help those who need us."
With the other children rallying round to make her feel comfortable and at home, Priscilla will soon settle in and find a life full of fun and laughter.
Pictures: Priscilla when she arrived, and later in a lovely new clothes when she joined Mama and Papa for her first Kidz Club - with chief welcome, David!
*We always need sponsors for our children. If you would like to sponsor a child, like Priscilla,  and make a real difference to a young life please contact our UK voluntary coordinator, Elizabeth Gomm,

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

School report: A lesson in self belief

Madam Nelly brings us the week's news from our school:
On Friday,our PPI day , pupils were gathered together in the banda to conduct the service. The teacher in charge was Mr. Isaac and the topic was about working hard in life.
Pupils enjoyed the talk because they know that hard work is the key to success.
We also had guidance and counselling and the teacher in charge was Mr. Mramba who spoke about the importance of believing in yourself.
Pupils were inspired by this confidence boosting lesson.
Standard seven and eight have been sitting the Jesma examination which is two days of tests which helps in their preparation for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education taken at the end of year 8..
Volunteer Eva is a great help in assisting in classes and joined Mr Omoi's  computer lesson with class eight who were being introduced to the internet.
We are very happy to have our nice school environment with wonderful its resources.
Thank you. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Kids on the council

A new year and we have a new Kidz Council.
Kidz Council plays a very important role in family life at the Happy House.
They  meet once a week to discuss any ideas or problems and then report to Mama.
If a child is stepping out of line they will recommend punishment they think appropriate - like early bed or being excluded from a treat.
It democratic and organised and as all the kids are brought up to know they should never be afraid to  speak out or express an opinion, it works very well.
The new council members pictured with Uncle Billy, Mama and Papa are from left: Baraka, Samson, Mama, Lily, Kezia and Brian.
To welcome them to their new positions of responsibility, Mama and Papa, along with Uncle Ronnie, Uncle Scott and Auntie Laura, gave them a special treat and took them out for ice cream and sodas.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Friends from Italy bring so much

Mauritzio Onganiz and his friends  Giuseppe Grigi ,Girardi Romano, Tato and Paolo.  
Each year they organise a fund raising event, Giornata de Solidarieta in  their village Cortenova, Italy, for the Happy House and other children's organisations.
It is a day of celebration with food, dancing and entertainment in the street and when a good time is had by all.
The gentlemen called into Happy House to see Mama, Papa and the family and  very generously donated 2,500 Euros raised by the event.
Thank you to everyone who organised the event and to all those who went along to support it.
You are helping our Happy House to change the lives of needy children.

And more good friends...

And more Italian friends also visited Happy house to bring gifts of  household items, toiletries and food.
Tundra Tononi and family are also good friends to our family and it was lovely to see them.
Thank you for your wonderful donation which will help to feed our family.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

My teacher, by Mariam

Happy House kid Mariam loves school and now she is in a new class she also has a new teacher.
 Today she is telling is all about her.                                                         
My teacher is called Madam Doris.
She is a good teacher that*s why I love her.
She teaches us maths and science.
Madam Dorris is always happy with children.
She likae playing rounders and other games.
The  game she likes most is football.
My teacher has a nice handbag!
I hope you are all having a lovely time,


Saturday, 23 January 2016

A birthday to smile about!

Our little Esther is four.
And that's a birthday that gives us all a reason to smile.
Esther was a few days old when she was found, left in a carrier bag, under a bush.
She was badly dehydrated and a poorly little thing.
From the moment the hospital told Mama Sue about her, Esther had a home and a family.
2011: Esther comes home
And it was with our family, at Kidz Club, that Esther received her birthday gifts and greetings, with Mama Sue doing the honours.
She was far too busy taking a peek inside the bag to look up and smile for the camera!
With our love, care and encouragement, Esther has grown into a happy, healthy, independent, confident little girl.
That is what we call the Happy House Magic!

Welcome back

Scott and Laura Webster, from Royal Wootton Bassett, arrived back at Happy House last weekend, this time returning for a six week stay in Watamu.
In this time they will be helping out where needed, with Scott concentrating on the garden.
Over the years, Scott has been a huge help to us in helping to organise our garden and to put in place a growing programme.
He has received weekly reports from the garden, so that he could help with any problems that have arisen and to provide advice.
But he always happiest when he's there in person and can really dig in!
Scott and Laura were welcomed at Kidz Club.
And as a treat there were biscuits all round!

Friday, 22 January 2016

Winning team share success with our Happy House

A company with a base in Preston, Lancashire, has an annual prize of a charitable donation which is presented on behalf of what a panel considers to be the most influential safety improvement of the year.
This year, the prize was won by a small team led by Bob Leeming, an electrical engineer and Carol Darbyshire, one of the safety advisors.
Their idea involved the development of a remote sampling system, keeping operators clear of any hazards whilst collecting air samples.
They wanted their prize to go towards helping children in Africa and the Happy House was suggested by a work colleague whose family support the charity.
Once they heard about the work we, they were more than happy to give their support.
Well done to Carol and Bob for leading their team to success and many, many thanks  for supporting Happy House and  to the colleague who introduced you to our family
Every penny you raised will go exactly where you intended - to putting children in need on the road to a brighter future.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

New arrival Edward

A little boy who has been through a troubled time found a whole lot of little friends waiting to welcome him when he came home to Happy House yesterday.
And leading the welcome party when he arrived home with Mama Sue after being collected from the Children's Office in Malindi was our David, also five.
The Children's Office had contacted Happy House to ask for a home for Edward who is deemed in need of care and protection.
He will stay with us for as long as necessary and will be in school today.
With such a welcome he was instantly at home and, as the picture shows, soon in the swing of things!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

School report: A melting pot of talent

Meet artist Abdul!
Mama Sue said long ago: How can we know if we have a great artist, if a child never  has a chance to pick up a paintbrush?
Her aim is to ensure that children in Happy House School get to explore all their talents and to provide them with the materials to make it possible.
And  that's just what is happening from playgroup to secondary school..
Teacher Sarah Naronge brings us up to date with more school news: "The pupils are working hard to achieve their goals for the year and the goal that had been set for the school.
The start of term "wake-up" exams have taken place.
In playgroup, painting a number work came together as the children painted numerals.
Kg1 are enjoying their lessons and some of them are pictured doing number work.
Mr.Steve, the sports teacher is leading PE classes and pupils understand physical activity boosts their performance in the classroom too.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A hive of activity

Saturday mornings are a hive of activity for our Happy House busy bees,
The kids enjoy helping around the house in the laundry, in the kitchen and in the garden.
Some also had an interesting time learning about mechanics and looking after vehicles from our Happy House mechanic, Uncle Robert.

Monday, 18 January 2016

CAMEO gems raise £520

Bric-a-brac sales have netted a gain for our Happy House family,
The members of Poulton Methodist Church CAMEO women's group chose our Happy House as the charity to benefit from sales of bric-a-brac and cards held weekly at the church Saturday coffee mornings and at the CAMEO meetings.
And to give all the group's members an insight into the work of our charity Elizabeth Gomm went in to give them a talk back in November.
On Saturday, she was delighted to return to the church to receive a cheque for £520.
She told the gathering: "Without organisations like your own, your friendship, your prayers and the funds you raise we wouldn't be able to change the lives of so many children."
Back in November, we were desperate to get in the money we needed to finish our secondary school and on Saturday she was able to tell the the school is now finished and open.
The money raised will help support some of the youngsters from abject poverty who have scholarships to Happy House school.
Pictured with Elizabeth (centre) are Margaret White,  Carol Kenworthy, Liz Dale and Wendie Brocklehurst.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

My first week in Class Seven, by Sammy

 Sammy is in our Happy House Primary School  thanks to a free place Dr Danwata Scholarship. He has just moved up from class six to class seven.
Here he tells us what it is like:
When I was in class six,  I thought class seven was a class of difficult questions .
But now I have realized that it was a fear, in class seven I have started to learn about the circulatory system.
In social studies, I learn about my continent, my social studies teacher said that my continent, Africa, has got 55 countries.
 And in mathematics we have learned about whole numbers Mr Hamisi teaches us two subjects, that is social studies and mathematics,
 Mr Isaac teaches us science, Madam Milka our head teacher teaches us English so that when we are adults we can work in different countries like in the UK. 
It is a great thing to be at Happy House because Happy House  is the best, 
Thank you Mama Sue for making a beautiful school for clever pupils.
If you would like to help support our work with disadvantaged children by sponsoring a scholarship student, like Sammy, please email for details.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Beauty in the borders

When we had to relocate our Little Chicks Nursery School to a new site down the lane there was a lot of surplus coral.
Builder Carlos suggested to Mama that it might come in to enhance the flower bed around the Happy House and, never one to let anything go to waste, Mama agreed.
Carlos and his workmen have used it to great effect, making stunning flower beds, tree surrounds and borders and making the Happy House ever lovelier for our children who live there.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Charlotte, always a part of our family

Mama, Papa and the Happy House family were delighted to see Charlotte Poulter when she came to visit.
A few years ago, Charlotte and her friend Saskia Flower, then students at the Harrodian School, London,  raised £7,000 by organising a dinner. That money was used to buy the acre of land where our three schools are now sited.
Charlotte and her family visit Watamu every year, and she loves catching up with our news and progress and seeing Saumu, whose sponsor family she is in.
Here Charlotte tells us about her visit:
"Having been to say hello to everyone the day before (having not been there since last Christmas), I had the pleasure of going back to the Happy House for the opening of the new secondary school.
 It was the children's first day back after their Christmas holiday and the first time I had seen the school up and running.
 My best friend Saskia and I raised the money a few years ago to buy the land so I was particularly keen to see it all. 
I was amazed by how smart it all looked - the last time I was there it looked very impressive but was still a building site; so to see it all, one year later, finished and fully functioning with all the kids running around was quite moving.
  As Dave kindly dropped me off at the school he said"Remember, this place is a part of you!" which meant a lot. 
The Happy House has a very big place in my heart and I want to be as involved with it as I possibly can, for as long as I can. 
I had the pleasure of catching up with little Saumu, who I sponsor and love to pieces, and many other too. She was as cheeky and smiley as always, still making me work for her affection!  
"I gave Saumu a small chocolate with her Christmas present, and without being
asked, she bit off little pieces and gave them out to all the little ones
surrounding her. It was one of the sweetest things I've seen!
She hardly had any herself!"
I was told that some of the children were on trial periods, staying with their family members at home, to see if they could move back for good; Saumu, and her twin Pendo, were amongst them which initially scared me because I thought I'd never get to see them again but Uncle Billy assured me they'd still be there during the week for school!
 I saw a picture of them with their mum and Uncle Billy told me how happy they were to be back which was sonice to hear. 

 Selfishly, I was so sad to hear that Musyoka and his siblings had left  (only because I didn't get to see them) but I know that being with their grandad is best for them and where they want to be which is what matters. 
It's amazing the Happy House is able to reintegrate children who were once considered "orphans" back into their families, where they should really be. 
I am already looking forward to seeing everyone again in December.  Thank you for having me xxx.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Birthday greetings

Two happy youngsters have celebrated their birthdays.
Ushindi and Neema share the same birthdate , January 7.
Ushindi is now nine and Neema is three,
They both received their gifts and greetings from all the family at Kidz Club.
Happy birthday, kids.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

School report: Settling in

Secondary lesson
Ten days into the school term and everyone is settled and busy.
Students starting their secondary education in Form 1 are enjoying and excited as they are being introduced to subjects new them.
many new subjects.
There are new teachers to get to know as six new teachers have joined the staff in our schools, pictured from left are: Mr. Lawrence (Form1 secondary teacher teaching maths, chemistry, physics and biology), 
New teachers
Md Doris (class teacher, Class 4), Md Elizabeth  (Form 1 English, Business studies, Agriculture and Home Science),  Md Sarah (Form 1 CRE, History, Geography and Kiswahili),  Mr. Mramba (class teacher Cass 1) and Md Stella (Class teacher KG 3).

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Hidden price of parcels

You, our wonderful friends. support us with such generous giving and we are forever grateful to you for your amazing kindness to our children.
Memory box treasures
At Christmas we were inundated with parcels for our children, which is wonderful and we so appreciate every single one.
You made Santa's sack so easy to fill, with more left over for later!
The volume of parcels highlighted a problem we face every time we collected a gift send from abroad – import duty!
The cost of postage from the country of origin, and import tax we, despite being a charity have to pay, is often in excess of the contents.
Many of you were kind enough to pay the duty as well, but it worries us that so much of your money is going on postage and duty. 
We know how much you love to send gifts, and are conscious that we have often asked  you, as we did before Christmas to send gifts, or specific items, but after giving it very serious thought, Mama Sue is worried about the amount of  money being eaten up in postage and taxes.
Letters mean so much
Maybe you could, instead, make a donation for a sack or rice or flour to help feed our family or to buy school shoes or uniform for a child, or exercise books for school, or nappies for our babies. Payments to your sponsor child's saving accounts will help them when they reach independence.
You could make yourself smile by keeping a Happy House Jar of Smiles in  your home - and add a 50p or a £1 every time something happens in your life to make you happy or feel grateful along with a note to remind you of the event that made you smile.
When the jar is full you will have the pleasure of donating it to Happy House, and of looking back over all your red letter days! 
Only when we are really stuck for specific necessities, that we can't buy easily in Kenya, will we put out a request that requires postage and the dreaded import tax!
We are fortunate that, thanks to YOU, our storeroom has a wonderful stock of clothing etc, and we also have a store of items to ensure every child receives a gift for their birthday.
But keep your messages coming!
Cards, letters, postcards, emails and photos mean so much to our children - they squirrel them away,with love and pride, in their memory boxes.
These reminders of your love and your presence in their lives is, truly, the best present of all.

Monday, 11 January 2016

With opportunity comes responsibility

Gaining a sponsorship to our Happy House School is a gateway to a bright future for a child.
And this term we have awarded more free places to bright children in need;  children whose education is jeopardised by their family circumstances.
On Saturday, Mama Sue and Uncle Billy, our social worker and general manger, held a meeting for all sponsor children and their parents to highlight the mutual responsibilities that come with a scholarship.
Mama explained how we are committed to providing the best for the children and asked parents and carers to be equally committed to supporting and encouraging their youngsters in every way they can.
And she reminded the students, all eager to learn, that being a Happy House scholarship kid means working hard and always doing their best.
* We desperately need more sponsors to support young people on ours scholarship scheme. A scholarship provides education, books, uniform, shoes etc - everything a child needs to help them learn. If you would like to sponsor a scholarship student please contact Elizabeth Gomm

Sunday, 10 January 2016

My holiday, by Shakila

Staying in touch with relatives is so very important to Happy House children  like Shakila.
She tells us what she has done during the longest school holiday of the year.
My name is Shakila in class 7
When school closed we were permitted  to go for our home visit
We ware all happy and exited because we knew that we ware going to our relatives. 
When I reached home everybody was happy to see me because they had missed me for a long time.
I helped them in so many ways like sweeping the house and washing utensils, they all love me..
Every Sunday we go to church and worship  I enjoy singing and dancing to God.
I also lissen to the word of God, it helps me to do the things which are right and not wrong.
I really enjoy on my holidays.

Have a lovely time.
Bye, Shakila.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Happy birthday Eva

 There was a surprise party at Happy House School yesterday for a very special young lady.
Volunteer Eva Huguenin Elie who is such a brilliant help with the children in home and in school was celebrating her birthday, so what better reason to have celebration.
Eva, from Switzerland, who is spending five months with our family,  knew nothing about it and was delighted by the gathering arranged by Mama .... with cake, of course.
Happy birthday Eva.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Love from Blackpool

 Gifts from the very kind admin staff at  Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, Blackpool, brought smiles to our children.
The gifts resulted from a collection organised by Janet Shelmerdine, business manager, and her daughter, Lauren, an NHS adviser at the hospital.
Thank you
for your
love and
your kindness 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Happy House return to Bispham

Elizabeth Gomm received a warm and friendly reception for her first Happy House talk of 2016.
She was making a return visit to Bispham Parish Church Evening Fellowship Guild, Blackpool.
It was just two days short of a year since her last visit, and members were delighted to hear of the progress that we have made in what has been a very busy year.
Last year we were still building the primary school, so they were amazed to hear that we had progressed so far that we had been able to open the secondary school too.
Bad weather and illness meant a lower turnout than usual, but the very generous gathering resulted in donations totallng £75 for our work.
If you live within easy reach of the Fylde coast and would like a talk about Happy House please contact
Mama Sue and Papa Dave will be over here for three weeks in March so if you have a free date then you could hear all the latest news directly from Mama.  Again, contact Elizabeth to arrange.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Red letter day as Secondary School opens

January 5, 2016, goes down in our Happy House history book as the day we opened our Secondary School.
It was Mama Sue who, rightly, had the honour of cutting the ribbon to declare our school open on the first day of the new academic year.
Mama says: " It was very exciting this morning to see all the children back at school. Everyone was so happy to be back. 
We had a lovely assembly after which  classes 7,8 and the brand new Form 1 moved to the Secondary School for the official opening.
I said a few words then we cut the ribbon, the children couldn’t wait to get inside the classroom and choose their own new desk.
 We have three new teachers who are also excited to be embarking on such a thrilling experience at the Happy House School.
 As I look at the three schools I wonder how many children will pass through these doors in the years to come?
 How many children will we have been put in education and on the road out of poverty?
 Thank you to everyone who has made it possible for us to take these children so much further in life. "

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Success heralds a new chapter

There were celebrations and congratulations for our successful KCPE exam students at Happy House yesterday.
And on the last day of the school holidays, they  went out on the road, in our Happy House mini-buses, to proclaim the 100% exam success to the local community.
Then it was back to Happy House for cake and juice.
Not all the young people were able to be there, but they were all included in the congratulations from Mama, Papa and all the family.
There was congratulations for our teachers and all those who worked so hard to support the students through their final year in primary school.
Today, the Class of 2015 will start a new chapter in their lives when they start their secondary education in our newly finished school.
A great day for them and for all of us too.