Thursday, 31 March 2016

Snap happy, photography lessons for model kids

Photography graduate Gussy Bunbury is a great asset to our school.
Now well settled as a volunteer she is helping with computer lessons, helping some of our little ones who struggle with speech to improve their language skills and teaching photograpy to some of the primary students.
Gussy writes:
During the first week of photography lessons at Happy House the children were excited by the prospect of capturing their own images; this was evident by the hundreds of photos that were taken! 
With most never having used a camera before, I quickly covered the basics of photography before the children rushed around the school giving it a go.
Their favourite subject to photograph was one another, with everyone striking their best pose in front of the camera. 
For their next lesson I encouraged the children to focus on the world around them, seeing what else within the school environment they could photograph. 
They took to the challenge admirably, exploring the different textures, patterns and still life objects the school had to offer, although they couldn’t resist the odd photograph of their friend! 
Sifting through the hundreds of photographs, I have been really impressed by what I have seen and am excited to see what else the children can produce.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

School Report: A trip to the salt mines

There was a fascinating school trip for Classes 8 and 5 when they visited the Gongoni Salt mine in Malindi district.
Mr Khamisi and Madam Nelly said the aim of the visit was to see for themselves how salt is harvested, processed and packed.
The youngsters were able to get a hand-on understanding of the process at every stage.
They also learnt the salt, discovering that it is used for much more than flavouring their ugali!
They were surprised to hear that salt in can be used more than 14,000 different ways from the making of products as varied as plastic, paper, glass, polyester, rubber and fertilisers to household bleach, soaps, detergents and dyes.
Our students and staff were were thanked by the host company for their cooperation and were congratulated on being so well behaved and ordered.
On the return to school they were sharing  stories of what they had encountered in the day .
Our baby class has been really hands on.
They have been having great fun making their handprints with Md Sarah showing them how.
This kind of activity is great fun for the kids who  are learning about colour and texture and enjoy counting their fingers as they make their personalised picture.
Md Sarah is pictured helping Neema to make her print.
In sport, 10 Happy House kids went to Gede for the inter-school netball and of those Evans (right)  won through to take part in the zonal contest.

Well done year 7

Joanne Rossall's Year 7 at St Aidan's CE Technology College have raised £18.17 with a guess the number of sweets in the jar. The winner was Sam Johnson who got himself a hamper ull of Easter treats. Mrs Rossall said that with other loose change they had raised £27.42 in the last few weeks. Thanks St Aidan's, your continued kindness toward  our family, and especially for your sponsor child Farida, means so much.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Happy House - a family concern

 Visiting the Happy House again was a very special time for the Walker family.
Kylie Walker, who lives in Jersey, was in Watamu with her parents,  Pat and Julie Walker, and her grandmother, Carol Sohier.
They had a chance to see all the developments at Happy House and in our school since their last trip, and to catch up on news from Mama and Papa.
The very generous family had involved many others, raising awareness at the same time, in their fundraising in the months leading up to their visit. 
Kylie's clients and colleagues at Marquis Hair salon had generously donated £100, Carol raised a massive
massive £500  with her friends and other family members by holding car boot sales and two coffee and cake mornings.
A further £200 was raised by Carol's friend Hilary Houze, who sponsors a Happy House day student, Lucky Chilumo,  and her son Dan.
Dan and co-owner of their coffee shop " Dandy's " agreed to have a Happy House collection pot on the counter. Hilary made delicious cakes for staff at her office and who gave very generously for a tasty treat!

Sammy Cannon a friend  of Pat Walker approached  St Paul's and St Clement's Football Clubs who donated football kits footballs etc.
Pat and Julie also took out a suitcase of very useful good including clothes, exercise books and pencils.
Julie also took a special gift for her sponsor child, Husna
Kylie said: "The difference Happy House is making to these children and their families lives is amazing. The on-going work that you do is truly inspirational."
Our thanks to Pat, Julie, Kylie and Carol and to all their friends and colleagues who helped them to raise such a lot of money to help our family.
They are true friends indeed. 

Happy families

When Mama and Papa visit the the UK they have a homely welcome, thanks to Alan and Lesley Pidcock.
Alan and Lesley, who sponsor two of our kids, and who first met Sue and Dave when they visited Kenya in 2010, very kindly let them stay in their house near Blackpool, as they live and work in Saudi.
This time their visits have coincided for a few days giving them a really good chance to catch up and spend some time together.
Yesterday, they hosted a Bank Holiday get together with friends and sponsors Jackie Fineman, Andrea Manders, Fiona Scragg and our Auntie Libby along with Alan and Lesley's daughter, Kathryn, son James his partner Jonathan and their baby.
Pictured above (from left) Fiona, Jackie, Andrea, Mama, Lesley, Libby and Kathryn.
Left: Alan and Papa.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Esther is on the mend and visitors at home and away!

Our little Esther who fractured her arm in a playground topple is well on the mend.
She has been to hospital for an x-ray to check that the fracture is healing well and Uncle Billy said they confirmed it was properly aligned and healing
She was a bit apprehensive but very good.
Well done Esther.

Greetings for guests in Kenya

Visitors are always welcome and Auntie Velma, Auntie Rose and Auntie Jessica were delighted to meet Attached is a Jan,Patrick, Phanice and Lawrence who were on holiday from Manchester and to show them around our wonderful Happy House.
Thank you for coming to see us. Please tell your friends.

And visitors for Mama & Papa in UK

Anyone who sponsors a Happy House kid will know the name of Louise Webster,
Louise is the wonderful volunteer who sends out all the profiles to new sponsors.
It's a task she loves and willingly fits in to her very busy life.
Yesterday she and her lovely family, husband Gary and children Grace and Alice drove over from Yorkshire for lunch and a catch up with Mama and Papa.
They are counting the days until their trip to Watamu and the Happy House in August - after the disappointment of previous cancellation.
This will be the fifth visit for Louise and Gary, the fourth for the girls, and the are so excited and especially looking forward to seeing their sponsor child Oscar again.
And the Happy House family can't wait to see you again too.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

On the ball by Boniface

Scholarship student  Boniface Kai, 17, works hard in school and enjoys games.
He writes:
" I like playing volley ball. On Friday we went out for games and we came back as the winners.
 I was happy as a king  as my friend and I were selected.
We will be going out once again for games at Watamu Primary School and we will come back as the winners.
It is Happy House power!"

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Eggstra special Easter and birthday kids

All set for a cracking Easter?
Easter chick, Lauren, is certainly set to step out in style in the bonnet made by her mum's cousin, Joanne Rossall and her daughter Charlotte at our Happy House coffee morning last week.
Grace & Favour, Marsh Mill Village, Thornton, has turned all the remaining materials into kits which are availabel in the shop in return for a donation.
Flakefleet School, Fleetwood, is celebrating after raising £290 for our family with an Easter Egg raffle. - started with a £5 egg bought by Rotarian Derrik Foulkes in the club's challenge to grow a fiver into more for Happy House. Friends offered him more eggs and the result was clutch of  chocolate eggs and Easter goodies for prizes.
Jill Clayton said: " We are so proud of our staff, children and parents afor donating and buying raffle tickets for our Easter Egg raffle.
 Thanks to Derrik from Fleetwood Rotary we raised £291!
 Good luck to Happy House.
We all loved doing it. I did an assembly for the whole school and the children couldn't believe that children still live in such poverty. 
Even some staff were in tears! 
We don't realise how lucky we are."
Thank you Derrik and Flakefleet your efforts will help to change more children's lives.

Birthday double

Two birthdays to celebrate at Happy House this week.
Children who received their gifts at Kidz Club were Suleiman (left) and Erick.
The two boys enjoyed their greetings from the family and being the centre of attention for the birthday song.
Happy birthday boys.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Forever friends and bonnet kits for kids

Mama popped in to say hello to hairdresser friend Shirley Dawson and came out with a new hairdo!
Sue was being treated for breast cancer back in 2012 when she met Shirley whose hairdressing salon in Beach Road, Cleveleys, runs hand in hand with Shirley's 2nd Image  where she provides both wigs and wisdom for anyone going through hairloss for any reason.
Shirley, who has lived with alopecia since she was a teenager, was a huge support to Sue and to Dave and Sue says: "She sorted my head, inside and out."
"I can never thank her enough for her kindness and generosity to me when I truly needed it."
They have remained good friends and so calling on Shirley, who is in out sponsor family,  was a must for Sue.
"She wouldn't let me leave without a wash and blow dry," says Sue "so I would look good for Rotary that night!"
Sue is pictured in the salon with , from left, Carly, Diane and Shirley.

Easter kits

Our friends at Grace & Favour, Marsh Mill Village, Thornton, are offering Happy House Easter Bonnet kits in return for a donation, from now until they close at 4pm tomorrow..
The kits have been made up from the material we had for a crafts stall at our coffee morning on Saturday, and the crafty folk at G&F have whipped up a few creations to tempt the shoppers.
Please do pop in and get kits for the kids in your family, You will be helping our kids at the Happy House at the same time. Thank you.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Cash crop and Paws for thought

A harvest of talents brought in a cash crop adding up to £1000 for Happy House.
At the start of the year, Sandra Foulkes distributed £180 of her own money in lots of £5 to fellow members of Fleetwood Rotary Club and asked them to go out and grow it with their talents
And over three months that is what they have done, raising money in so many different ways.
For example Janet Simpson made and sold marmalade (the fiver bought the first batch of fruit and sugar) and raised more than £100; Derrik Foulkes brought in £200 by organising an Easter egg raffle  at Flakefleet School (after buying the first egg offer of others poured in) while Sandra  bought a batch of organza bags and spray paint and sold silver pebbles  to children at Larkholme and Charles Saer schools which they personalised to give to their mums for Mothering Sunday.
David Simpson used his £5 for a quiz prize charging £1 for quiz sheets, Margaret Lund took in ironing with her husband, Des, as doing collection and delivery,
Other members had great ideas too, and after receiving her initial investment back, Sandra and club president, Richard Newson, has the pleasure of presenting £1000 to Mama Sue and Papa Dave last night at Rotary's weekly meeting.
Fleetwood Rotary Club has long been a loyal supporter of Sue and Dave's work at Happy House and a number of members sponsor kids, so it it was lovely for  Sue, Dave and Elizabeth to be back with them at the North Euston Hotel.
Sue gave them an update of all the latest news and developments both in our family and at school, and thanked them for their continuing love and support.
Robert Stead presented Sue and Dave with a signed group photograph of the club members mounted alongside one of his stunning watercolours. They will be displayed at Happy House.
Thank you to everyone who went the extra mile with their fantastic fivers challenge, the money will go toward supporting Dr Danwata Scholarship students on free places in our school, keeping them on the road out of poverty.

Paws for thought

We have friends from many different walks of life, but this week we recruited two four-legged friends!
The pet pooches came along with their owners to swell the audience when Elizabeth Gomm went to speak to the ladies of Bispham United Reformed Church, Cavendish Road, on Tuesday.
They were very well behaved, sitting quietly throughout a film of Happy House and Elizabeth talk.
The ladies group has been following Sue's work since the very beginning, donating money to buy three bricks for the school she developed long before Happy House.
They were delighted to see how her work since has touched so many more young lives and the local community as well.
It was a lovely evening and a donation was made for Happy House.
Thank you ladies.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

School blog: Dining in style

 New dining tables, made and tiled by our Happy House joiner, are now in place in the dining banda at school making it much easier to organise school lunch times.
Madam Neema writes: It has created more space and is much more comfortable for the students, and the staff who organise meal times.
Mr Omoi led a guidance and counselling session when pupils were guided on how to set goals and what to do so as to achieve them.
Playgroup class teacher Madam Sarah has been doing leaf printing with the little ones during creative arts activity.
This helps young learners to develop observation skills and strengthens their fine muscles.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Students turn to chores into cash for Happy House

 Raising money for Happy House was a cheerful chore for youngsters from Cheadle Hulme School.
Head of Year 8, Peter Upton, handed his students blank cheques and asked them to go home andoffer to do the household chores for family and friends in exchange for donations.
Then they could return the cheques filled in with the amount they had earned.
The cash brought  from the chores weekend  along with an odd sock and shoes day and other fundraisers in school during the autumn term brought in a magnificent £2061.
Yesterday, Mama Sue, Papa Dave and Elizabeth visited the school for a special assembly where Mama was able to tell them how they had helped to furnish our secondary school.
She thanked them for all they had done and how special it was that they were children, helping children less fortunate than themselves.
Happy House and Cheadle Hulme are working together to forge stronger link between the two. Our little ones even had fun mixing up their socks and shoes to pose for a thank you picture for their friends in Cheshire.
The link between the school is particularly poignant as Cheadle Hulme, now one of the North West most prestigious schools, started life in the 1855 as a school for orphaned children. 
Thank you Cheadle Hulme for your support and love for our Happy House kids. You are doing a great job!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Cup that cheers to tune of £1000

It was hats on to Easter when our Happy House Spring Coffee morning on Saturday raised more  than £1000..
There was a huge turnout of friends old and new, some who had travelled from as far as Hull, to help and hear more about the Happy House family.
And it was also a chance to meet Mama Sue and Papa Dave, the remarkable couple behind our charity, who are visiting the UK for a few weeks.
They were delighted to see so many people, and Mama Sue had people both laughing and crying as she spoke movingly about the wonderful family she has created at the Happy House and related some anecdotes about the children..
Members of Garstang Inner Wheel,  St Annes Inner Wheel, Thornton Cleveleys Inner Wheel and Fleetwood Rotary were among the guests, as were a group from Ansdell and Fairhaven WI who brought with them a cheque for £125 raised from a money jar, where members leave small change at monthly meetings. Mama is pictured (above right) with WI president Pat Blundell.
Angie Carmon, Janet Zoller, Pauline Royle
She was happy to meet John Cross, Worshipful Master of Normoss Round Table Lodge, and  wife Shelagh and past master, Michael Dickinson.. The Lodge has recently made a £100 donation to Happy House.
Lesley Thomas, deputy district commissioner for Preston Scouts who brought along neckers from local packs for use by the Happy House School scouts.
Mama Sue also received a cheque for £100 from Fylde Soroptimists, presented to her by Maureen Thompson.
There was also time of them to chat to many of the visitors who wanted to know a little more about the Happy House or to ask after their sponsor child.
Business was brisk on the tombola and other stalls selling handicrafts, cakes, bric-a-brac and books.
Some of our younger visitors had great fun making their Easter bonnets with a little help from Joanne Rossall, her daughter Charlotte and Amy Shuttleworth, a student in her form at St Aidan's..

Ellie Bancroft
Papa Dave had the demanding task of judging the Easter Bonnet parade and eventually declared ir a draw so everyone received a prize!
The coffee morning,  held in Poulton Methodist Church Hall, raised a wonderful £852.1, so with the cheque donations added the morning raised more than £1000!
Plus the promise of three new sponsors for our children.
Many, many thanks to everyone who came along, to all those who helped in any way and to Poulton Methodist Church for giving us the use of the hall and for all their help, with a special mention of Ken and Ann Carr,
Top: Garstang Inner Wheel, below left: St Annes Inner Wheel, right: Margaret Thompson.
Every penny raised will make a difference to the lives of children.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

An opportunity to learn, by Kelvin

Schooling is something many young people in Kenya cannot take for granted. It always depends on money, and if there's no money, there is no school.
That is how it was for Kelvin Baraka who is being brought up by his elderly grandmother. A Happy House Dr Danwata Scholarship changed his fortunes and secured his education.
He writes:
"I would like to thank everybody who makes sacrifices  and donated to us so that we can learn. 
I thank also Mama Sue and Papa Dave because they have given us an opportunity to learn. I promise everybody that I am going to do my best in my education so that I can achieve in my life. 
I also I thank the friends who also give things to us like clothes and books and also those who remember us in their word of prayer.
 I also thank our teachers and Doctor Danwata for this scholarship opportunity."
*If you would like to know how you can sponsor the education of a scholarship student like Kelvin please contact Elizabeth Gomm  With your help more young people like Kelvin will have the chance to come to our school and look forward to a bright future.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Sisters on the run and coffee morning fun!

Sister Chloe Groves and Grace Dunbar are on the starting blocks for the Stafford Half Marathon tomorrow.
The girls, whose families lives in Wantage,  are running to raise money for the Happy House.
The half marathon starts and finishes in the town centre with the majority of the course through some challenging countryside, with two steady climbs.
Chloe says: " The charity is close to our hearts.  I am a sponsor to a little boy, Saidi,  at the Happy House and Grace has recently spent her time volunteering there.
To support their effort go to
And it's Chloe's sponsor child who is the face of our coffee morning in Poulton le Fylde, Lancashire, today. 
This picture of him was snapped when Chloe last visited with her grandparents, Red and Brenda Groves.
We've just added some Easter embellishments to his fetching topper.
If you are close by please come to see us at Poulton Methodist Church, Queensway, Poulton, from 10am to noon. There's plenty going on and we are thrilled that Mama Sue and Papa Dave are joining us.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Mama and Papa share the love

Members of Blackpool Soroptimist International were delighted to welcome Mama Sue and Papa Dave at their meeting last night.
And they were inspired by Mama's story of the road, including its many twists and turns, which led her to build her Happy House and the schools that have followed there.
Mama and Papa told them anecdotes about the children in the family and there was no doubt of their unfailing love for the youngsters whose lives they have transformed.
Mama and Papa were joined by Auntie Libby, our UK coordinator, who keeps the Soroptimists in touch with the developments in our science lab which they funded with generous donations from the Christine Walker Memorial Legacy.
Mama, Papa and Libby were thanked by president Julie Patel.
Pictured with Mama and Papa are Marcia Roper, Su Gordon and Julie Patel.

Coffee time

No apologies for another mention here for our Happy House Spring Coffee Morning
tomorrow at Poulton Methodist Church, Queensway, Poulton le Fylde from 10am-noon.
Mama and Papa are looking forward to being there and will be happy to tell you anything you would like to know about our amazing charity.
There will be delicious cakes on sale, handicrafts, bric a brac and books, plus a tombola and raffle.
Bring the kids to get creative making their own Easter bonnet with all materials provided for a minimum donation of £1.
Happy House  recycled cotton bags, £5, and bracelets hand-beaded in Watamu, also £5, will be on sale.
Please come along, we would love to see you. Admission is free.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Welcome back Mama and Papa

Mama and Papa are taking a break in the UK and enjoying catching up with friends.
Yesterday,  Terry and Wendy Burns came over to Poulton to see them.  Their friendship dates back to the days when the Happy House was being built and Terry heard Sue being interviewed on Radio Lancashire.
A co-founder of charity Furniture for Education Worldwide Terry was so touched by Sue's vision and work, he  offered to send a container of furniture to Happy House,  and since then it has been followed by more. 
He, Wendy and members of his family have visited twice - for the Happy House official opening six years ago today, and in 2011 when they played Santa to the kids!
Now Terry is looking to helping out again, which is absolutely fantastic news. 
Tonight Mama and Papa will be joining Elizabeth for a visit to Blackpool Soroptimists, 
Blackpool SI very kindly funded our secondary school science lab and Mama will be giving them  the latest news from school and family.
On Saturday,  Mama and Papa are VIP guests at our Happy House Spring Coffee Morning at Poulton Methodist Church, Queensway, Poulton, from 10am to noon.   
It will be a morning of fun and friendship. There will be a stall where kids of all ages can make their own Easter bonnet (£1 minimum donation), tombola, raffle, handicrafts and bric-a-brac and books. Plus lovely bracelets, hand-beaded in Watamu, for only £5.
Admission free. Tea/coffee and biscuits £1.

Entertaining time at Kidz Club

Kidz Club started with Mama's special song Butterfly, Flutterby -  sung extra loud in the hope Mama and Papa would be able to hear it in the UK!
Classes two and three recited a poem about good manners and courtesy and form one treated the family to a song.
Teachers Madam Milka and Madam Doris talked to the kids who are preparing for end of term exams in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

School Report: Progress is a family affair

Parents and guardians have been into school to find out how their children have been getting on in the first term of the year.
Mr Muramba reports:
Teachers discuss progress with both the student and their parents so that everyone is well informed and knows what is expected of them.
For kids living at Happy House,  Mama and
Uncle Billy meet with teacher and child and they have also reviewed the results of those youngsters who have returned to live with relatives but who have free places in our school so they too know they are still under Mama's caring, watchful and encouraging eye!
Gussy Bunbury, a volunteer from the UK, has been assisting pupils in English reading.
Pupils who won through the first heat are also busy getting ready for the next round of the inter-schools ball games which take place soon.

Boots Appeal

A couple of weeks ago, we appealed for large size football boots.Ideally, sizes 7 to 12 (yes, some of our boys have very big feet). If you do have some please could you get them to Elizabeth in the next week.
Thank you, you would make some aspiring young footballers very happy!


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Primary kids on the ball

Happy House kids had a ball when they took part in a sports competition at Chafisi Primary School.
It was the first round of this term's inter-schools contest in ball games and actiities.
Our young sports enthusiasts did their best and some (top picture) were chosen to represents the Watamu schools in the next round of the competition, the cluster level. Well done to all.        .

Coffee morning

Friends in Lancashire, please come to see us at our Happy House Easter coffee morning at the Methodist Church, Queensway, Poulton, on Saturday, 10am to noon. We have some fab prizes for our tombola and raffle, plus there will be handicrafts, cakes, bric-a-brac and books stall and a craft table with all the material to make an Easter bonnet for kids of all ages (minimum donation £1). Admission is free. Coffee/tea and biscuits £1 .Mama Sue and Papa Dave will be joining us and can't wait to see you. Every penny raised will help them to continue their amazing work in improving the lives of children in need in Watamu.