Saturday, 31 December 2016

Narrow win for Greens

Now in the last week of a very long school holiday, our Happy House kids are packing lots of fun and games into every day.
Sporting activities are are always popular with the children who thrive on friendly competition.
So in a mini-sports day, the green team were pitted against the orange.
The green team romped home with 97 points, just five ahead of their rivals.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Special delivery

 Two boxes of goodies from Happy House friend Nicky Gidigbi have been hand delivered by her friends Heather McPherson and Krishna Williams and kids Asher and Jenni-Su.
The family, from Walthamstow, East London,  are holidaying in Watamu where Krishna has relatives and offered to take the boxes necessities and other goodies from Nicky.
The items included toothpaste and toothbrushes, baby wipes, sanitary pads, roll deodorants, comic, stationery, sweets and clothes from her Nicky's mum Betty Hatch,
Mama and Papa and our kids were pleased to welcome Heather, Krishna, Asher and Jenni-Su.
Nicky, who is in Nicolas' sponsor family, said: "It was amazing that they offered to take the boxes for me."
"Everything in the boxes is much needed and truly appreciated." said Mama.
Many thanks to Nicky and Betty and to Heather, Krishna and family too.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Home call

Home is a place where the door is always open to you.
You you don't have to call in advance, knowing for certain you will be welcome.
A home, not an institution,  is what Mama Sue set out to create at her Happy House and that is what it is.
The children once living in our care and who have now moved on know they can always come back to say hello.
There are around 60 children, some who spent the up to five years in our care,  who are now, with our continuing support, repatriated into family homes with relatives who have got back on their feet, 
 Mama and Uncle Billy have a busy time keeping up with the progress of each one.
So it's lovely when a child is able to pop back and say hello.
Natasha, who was with us from being a tiny baby until earlier this year, came back to visit with her mum and her baby brother on Christmas Eve.
Mama was thrilled to see her so very happy and to hear how settled she is at home and in her new school, where we are supporting her education.
They are all living with grandma who is on hand to look after the children while their mum is at work.
Bringing families together in this way is no happy accident, it is the result of foresight and effort. 
Natasha was born when her mum was barely more than a child herself, and the girl was traumatised by the birth and totally unable to look after her baby who was brought into Happy House care.
Over the following years, we maintained links with the mum encouraged her to visit and to build a bond between herself and her child.
Now, also mum to a little boy, sje is able to take care of both her children.
And that's another example of the Happy House magic at work again.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Christmas gift from Mexico

Now married and mother of young children herself,  Fabiola Matute still holds our Happy House kids in our heart.
It is almost three years since Fabiola, Auntie Fa to our family, and her friend Alejandra Quintana set off from their homes in Mexico to spend three months volunteering at Happy House.
The two young women made a huge impact at Happy House where they worked so hard assisting in our school or turning their hands to anything else that was needed.
Since they went back home they have stayed in touch despite changes in their own busy lives.
Just before Christmas, Fabiola held a sale to raise money for our family.
Her mother kindly hosted the event at her own home  and Fabiola was helped by her mother, her sister and a friend.
Those who attended were invited to buy from a selection of lovely goods on sale or to make a donation into a money box Fabiola made with the Happy House logo, or to do both!
The sale raised a wonderful $1090, approx £888.
Our grateful thanks to Auntie Fa, her mother and those who helped and supported the sale.
You are truly making a difference to our children's lives.
Thank you and, Auntie Fa, we love YOU!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Gifts to sow and grow

Growing fresh vegetables to feed and grow our children is an ongoing task for our Happy House gardener.
We were delighted to receive seeds from the very kind Liz Finney of Goonhavern Garden Centre in Truro, Cornwall.
Thank you Liz for thinking of us.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Chilling out at Christmas

 With temperatures soaring into the 30s, Christmas day was roasting,
So what better way to treat the kids than to give them cooling ice cream.
Mama and Papa enjoyed a very happy morning with the 30 children who are at Happy House over the holiday, whilst the others have gone on visits to relatives.
Those staying home are mostly little ones and they had lots of fun playing games and chasing after Papa!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Happy Christmas

Today our message is short and sweet.
 Merry Christmas!
 To each and every one of you who has given our Happy House family their love and support this year, thank you.
Our special love and thanks to Mama Sue and Papa Dave for giving us a chance to share in your amazing journey of love and dedication.
Together we are changing the lives of so many children and putting hope into hearts where once there was none.
Santa could do no better!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Little Hussein finds a home at Happy House

 A little boy, found living on the streets with his sick mum, is now safe and sound for Christmas.
Hussein and his mother had been taken into custody of the police concerned for the child's safety,
His mum, traumatised and incoherent, is in need of medical care and the Child Protection Centre in Malindi brought Hussein to Happy House knowing eh would find a safe and loving home with our family.
Hussein follows other youngsters who have arrived at Happy House just in time for Christmas.
"Our good God has made almost every Christmas to come with an extra gift for Mama," said Uncle Billy.
Not used to being with other children, Hussein is just beginning to interact and learning to play.
"He is surrounded by lots of love and care," added Uncle Billy. 
"He likes playing with toy cars and Lego where he gets to construct nice blocks with no help at all.
" It doesn’t matter if the colours get mixed up or if the blocks lack definite shape since he is only just starting to experience what is like to play.
 "Within a few months we can be sure he shall be the best,  with good mentoring from David, Abdulmalik, Esther and everyone else. 
"Go Hussein, Go!"
If you would like to sponsor Hussein or another Happy House child please contact Elizabeth Gomm

Friday, 23 December 2016

Mama gets a kiss from birthday boy!

 Birthday boy David puckered up to give his Mama a lip-smacking kiss!
A special Kidz Club celebrated two birthdays this week and David was one of them.
David was 6 on the 20th and Diana was 10 on the same day.
David's birthday is always a cause for thanks and celebration.  
Diagnosed with Downs Syndrome at 11 months, he has overcome so many obstacles to become a lively, loving and bossy little boy!
Mama presented gifts to David and Diana and there were birthday songs for them too.
It was also an entertaining time as every child did their own little party piece in return for a lollipop!
Happy birthday to  David, whose zest and love for life is a constant source of inspiration, and to our lovely Diana too.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Mama's treat

 As quite a number of the children in our care have gone on home visits to relatives, there will be only 40 kids at Happy House for Christmas.
And Mama and Papa always try to make it special for those who are left behind.
At Kidz Club this week she has a surprise for them in the form of some juicy pineapple and some sweets.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Off we go, on safari

Hard work and success bring rewards.
This is a lesson that Mama Sue uses to raise the performance and aspirations of the young people in our care at Happy House children's home and those, from backgrounds of extreme hardship, on scholarship places in our school.
And so when all our 2016 Primary Class Eight passed their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education with very good marks, Mama and Papa set about organising the overnight safari they had promised them, following in the success of that undertaken with the previous year's successes.
With plans in place, all the youngsters stayed at Happy House overnight so they would up and ready for a very early start.
They were so excited when the land cruisers that were to transport them on the two-and-half hour journey to Tsavo East National Park.arrived to pick them up.
Accompanied by Mama Sue, Papa Dave, teachers Madam Nelly and Mr Steve, they the set off in convoy.
 And the wildlife came out to greet them as they were treated to a safari spectacular on their game drives in the  national park, learning much from the experienced guides who travelled with them.
But their adventure was about much more than the wildlife.
Staying overnight in a basic lodge on the game park was pure luxury to these kids and something they could not have comprehended, never mind dreamt of.
They come from humble homes where there is little, so to sleep in shared rooms, with en suite bathrooms, to be served up delicious meals in the dining room and to be able to splash around in a swimming pool was just an experience of a lifetime.
Mama and Papa were there to guide and advise so they would know what cutlery to use when, to ensure they never forgot their manners and to chat away and sing-a-long around a fire put in the evening.
The experiences of these two days will live on the memories of the kids for the rest of their lives.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

You did it!

Once again you've done it for Happy House!
Our Buy and Book Appeal yesterday smashed its £2000 target with donations taking it to £2120.
Hitting the target in Christmas Week is just the best gift for the secondary students moving up to become our very first Form 2 in January.
With 13 subjects on the curriculum, we had an outlay of £2000 to pay for all the required books for a full class of students plus the text books and guides needed by their teachers,
Over 2017 and the years to follow, these books will ring so many rewards to our students.
All from backgrounds of extreme hardship, the students are on free place scholarships and truly understand education is their only road out of poverty. 
Books are the vehicle they need for their journey,
We send our love and our thanks to all those who have supported us with fundraising, group events and personal donations.
At a time of year when there are so many demands on your finances, you have opened your hearts and your wallets to give these young people an opportunity to achieve in life.
They will not let you down.
Thank you.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Caring cards'

Happy House kids reunified with family members love to hear from their sponsors.
Rukia and her brother Said, with our continuing support, are now living in Malindi with their grandma and auntie .
Bury Soroptimists' sponsor Rukia and they were delighted for her when she was able to live with her grandma and continued their sponsorship which enables us to meet costs of her education and health care,
"It has been a real joy and privilege to watch her grow from a shy
little girl into a very happy and confident young lady and we are so
glad to have been able to play  a small  part in this," said Bury Auntie, Beryl Downing.
True to their word, Rukia's Bury Aunties have continued to send her postcards and she is always so happy to receive them.
Thank you Bury Aunties, your love and thoughtfulness means so much to your special girl.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Thank you, by Kelvin

Kelvin Baraka joined our Dr Danwata Scholarship Scheme in March 2014.
He lives with his  grandmother who had no means to keep him in school and he was facing a bleak future. 
A scholarship in our school changed his life. He completed his primary education and passed the KCPE last year and will start his second year in our secondary school in January.
Kelvin writes:
I  want to thank you, Mama Sue,  for what you have done for me.
You have changed my life so much.
 And I thank also my teachers for what they have done for me.
 I thank Dr Danwata forgiving his name to the scholarships as they are changing the lives  of people in our  community.
I pray for you, the people who support and sponsor us for all you ae doing to improve the standadrd of our lives through education.
I pray that Mama Sue will live a long life to have strength, so that when I achieve my aims in life I can give back and bring thanks to her,. 
I also pray that Dr Danwata lives a long life  and can continuen to help many people get well,.
When I achieve in life I will help people in the way Mama Sue has helped us not just with education but with food and clothing.

I am grateful to Uncle Billy and to everyone who makes Happy House fly high in the sky,

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Fun time

Fun activities and games including telling the time, tiems tables puzzles and spelling kept  our children busy all morning,
They are very competitive so love the challenge, but are also very helpful towards their brothers and sisters.
It was a relaxed time with everyone enjoying themselves.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Special delivery

There was a special delivery for Brian, when Maddy and Darcie Davies called to see him.
They brought Christmas gifts from their aunt,  Catherine Davies and her class, form 7D, at the London School in London.
Darcie and Maddy who are home for Christnas with their family, their dad, Damian, is general manager at Turtle Bay Beach Club,
Brian was thrilled to see them and to read the messages in the card they brought from 7D.
He will share his gifts with his brothers and sisters at Happy House,
Thank you to Mrs Davies and Form 7D, Brian send you all his love and good wishes for a very happy Christmas. 

Book Fund zooms up

Our Buy a Book Appeal went up by £100 yesterday thanks to two kind donors.
Now we have raised 91% of our £2000 target to cover the cost of buying text books for each student in Secondary School Form 2 when it opens in January, 
It would be a wonderful gift to these kids, all from backgrounds of poverty and loss, if we could hit the target by Christmas.
We are just £190 away,
To donate go to:

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Wedding date with Mr Isaac

 Happy House headteacher Mr Isaac is at the heart of our family.
Fair,strict and kind, our children both like and respect him.
Mr Isaac cares deeply for the students in his charge, and has great admiration  and love for Mama, Papa and the Happy House family.
When he announced his wedding date he asked all the family to attend.
It was a chance to dress up - wearing the outfits made for Auntie Velma's wedding - and everyone looked so smart when they arrived at church.
The kids sat patiently throughout the wedding ceremony and enjoyed the gathering that followed,
Mama said: "We  wish Isaac and his bride a long and happy life together."


Our Buy a Book Appeal launched a few weeks ago to cover the £2000 cost of text books for all the studenst going into our very first Form 2  at Secondary  School in January, is just £290 away from its target.
This initial outlay for books, covering the 13 subjects taught in Form 2, and all the teachers' text book, is huge but the books will be cared for and cerished so they can be handed on to successive generations of students for as long as possibel.
Please help us hit the target in time for Christmas.
For our kids, education is the greatest gift.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Frontline first aid

 Knowing how to assist when someone has an accident at home or at school is a skill that could also be life-saving.
And we are grateful to Joanne Reid, a theatre nurse with Spire Healthcare in Blackpool and Lytham, for again presenting a First Aid workshop for our Happy House staff,
Jo, who has given basic first aid lessons on previous visits, explained how to help a casualty suffering  burns,bleeding or chocking.
She also demonstrated resuscitation and other basic techniques.
Volunteer staff members acted as her casualties for the accident scenarios.
Everyone found the workshop every informative and educational.
Thank you 

Bob, bob, bobbing ...

Just like the Little Red Robin in the song our family members been just bob, bob, bobbing along!
They had a great time on bobbing for apples on their Christmas Party Day, and as these pictures show they are very good at it.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Home for Christmas: Now it's time to go

With bags packed with goodies and hearts overflowing with love, our visiting children set off from home to home.
When these kids first came to us, all in a sorry state  and innocent victims of the tragedy or truama that had befallen their families, they had no place to call home. 
In Happy House they found one. 

In the following weeks, months an years we turned these kids around building them up to be strong, healthy, confident and capable.
With Mama's guiding hand, they learnt to grab hold of life and run with it.
That they were equal to anyone else, had rights - the right to be safe, to be educated, to be heard and to be loved.
Now they are lucky ones, they are back with their birth families and yet still a part of our family.

Well grounded and resilient, the transition from one life to another was a smooth one.
Now, after a brilliant Christmas holiday at Happy house, it was time to leave.
The family gathered  as one to wish them all a safe journey .
They talked about the good time they had enjoyed together, and the adults in our family spoke of how heartening it had been to be back together and encouraged the children, as they left, to continue to work hard and do well in school.
Saying goodbye is never easy, and for some there were a few tears.  It wasn't that they didn't want to go home, it was more that they'd had a lovely holiday and didn't want it to end.
But with Mama, Papa and Uncle Billy's reassurances that they would be coming back to do it all again next year, they soon brightened up and our Happpy House footsoldiers were on their way.

God bless, kids. 
We love you.

This week on the blog we will be putting you in the mood for Christmas with more pictures of our Festive Reunion.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Home for Christmas: Always a Happy House kid

Together again: David and Francis
Sharing the wonder and togetherness of Christmas has made family ties ever stronger for our Happy House children,.
Mama has always told them "Once a Happy House kid, always a Happy House kid" now they also know exactly what that means.
Bringing so many children, now reunified with their own birth families, back to their Happy House home for a festive holiday has shown them the certainty of our love and friendship.
Mama's boy Linus
Although older, bigger, more worldly, they slotted into place just where they'd left off.
There was no awkwardness or uncertainty, as the kids greeted each other,  some having been apart for many, many months.
Linus, who as a toddler loved to snuggle into Mama for a cuddle, is seven this month but not too grown up for another cuddle!
Hassan,  always Papa's shadow, again became his right hand man.
Ours was like any other family reunited at Christmas. 
There were many smiles, much laughter, a lot of love, and plenty of time to talk.
Mama and Papa made sure of that. 
Reunifying families has not been easy. 
Mama, determined to put the interests of each individual child before all else, kept her own feelings, as their adoptive Mama, in check.
 As they left to return to relatives, now able to give them a home again, her bright face, belied her heavy heart.
Her tears, and Papa's, have been shed in private.
Bringing her children home for this special week was a chance to spend time with them together and individually, finding out how they are doing, whether they have any worries, and what they miss (or don't miss!)
She already knew they are settled and well, Uncle Billy checks up on each one every week, sometimes more than once a week and Mama often chats with them, so she wasn't expecting any problems. Indeed there were none.
But she needed the assurance every Mama needs when a child flies the nest.
Without exception, the kids in word, deed and action, confirmed the success of their reunification.
They talked about their new schools, their new friends, but said what they missed most was their old friends.
Papa and Hassan
Evans, now living with relatives  but close enough to remain in our school,  has been in the Happy House family since its earliest days,  
He stood up in a group meeting and said:
 "I thought I would never see Hassan or Musyoka again, but now I have, and know I will again. Thank you Mama."
He and his brothers and sisters now have a greater understanding of how friendships can endure despite long distances and separations.
Our family visitors have traveled home, taking with them their gifts and lots of lovely memories, knowing that next year they will be together again ...
Coming Home for Christmas.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Home for Christmas: Showtime

 A game of charades,  a few carols, and a bit of a boogie?   How does you family entertain itself on Christmas Day.
Our Happy House family put on a show.
Celebrating Christmas early because all the kids repatriated with relatives were home with us for a five day holiday,  Santa made a marathon distribution of parcels to our huge family, and then the show began
And all the family took a turn, children an staff.
What a talented lot they are.
There were Christmas carols, songs, a catwalk show,  some fantastic dancing and comedy.
An unexpected guest star stole the show.
The kids fell about laughing when a very sophisticated "lady" sashayed into the banda.
It was our sports teacher Mr Steve who had dressed up as a woman for an hilarious comedy sketch.
We've put all the video clips together so that you can sit back, imagine yourself in the sunshine, and enjoy our show.
We hope you enjoy it.
Happy viewing!
Our work with vulnerable children is only possible because of the support of those who fundraise, make a donation or sponsor a child.
Every penny you donate helps to change children's lives.
You can make a gift to Happy House this Christmas by going to:

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Home for Christmas: Santa Special

With Happy House first stop on his world tour, Santa arrived to a gathering of excited children all singing Jingle Bells at the top of their voices.
As he came through the gate one of our littlest people, dressed as a mini Santa, rushed up to give him a hug,
Like a festive Pied Piper, Santa led the throng towards the decorated banda where Mama, Papa and the adults in our family were waiting for him.too.
Once settled into place, Santa greeted the children and they responded with a welcome song.
Then came the moment they had all been waiting  for, the distribution of gifts,
With Auntie Rose as his able assistant,  Santa handed out gift bags to each child.
It took some time, and in sweltering heat, with around 140 children each waiting their turn and joining in the the excitement of their brothers and sisters as they discovered what they had received,
Each child received a new outfit of clothing plus another gift, every item donated by our friends from around the world.

With his delivery safely made, it was time for Santa to get on his way with a cheery wave and a ho, ho, ho!
Shortly after his departure our friend Peter Reid joined the party, clean shaven and refreshed after his busy morning in a star role!

The party went on with  games, apple bobbing, and  entertainment.
It wasn't just the kids who entertained, it was also a chance for members of staff to show off their talents .

There was much fun, good-natured rivalry  but above all there was the love and joy of true family.
As in homes all around the world at Christmas time they sat together to enjoy a delicious meal, at Happy House it was a delicious chicken pilau.
For Mama and Papa who have created such a wonderful place and a wonderful family, to have all the kids back under their roof was special beyond words. 
It was a Christmas Day, albeit early, full of love and laughter
The love of our family does not stop there. It extends to each one of you of reading this today.
We look upon you as our family too, and thank you, as always, for your help and support in ensuring our work with vulnerable kids continues to grow and develop
To make a donation please go to:

Tomorrow's blog will feature a Christmas Day Showtime video, including an appearance from a very unusual "lady".