Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Talking results

Always keen to motivate and encourage, Mama Sue spent Saturday morning meeting with the kids individually to review their most recent exam results.
Waiting for Mama
They took their "wake-up" exams whilst Mama was on holiday, and with all the results to hand Mama and Uncle Billy were able to talk to each child about their strengths and weaknesses and to help them to set the targets they would like to achieve in each subject.
The kids really appreciate Mama's personal interest.
 It's a lot of work, but they are Mama's kids and that's what Mamas do!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Holiday homecoming and new update on Emmanuel

Refreshed and relaxed, Mama and Papa came home from holiday. on Friday.
The Happy House family gathered to welcome them, pleased to see them looking so well after their trip to the coast near Mombasa.
Mama, who has suffered problems with her back recently meaning she had been using crutches, is now walking without so much as a stick.
Rest, gentle swimming and sunshine has been just what the doctor ordered - in this case doctor Papa!
Mama and Papa moved hotels for the last few days where they were joined by Uncle Billy so that he and Mama could attend an important conference hosted by the Association of Children's Charitable Institutions in Kenya.
It's the first time in 10 years that Mama and Papa have taken a proper holiday where they could totally unwind - and we can't think of anyone who deserves it more.
Welcome home, Mama and Papa.

Emmanuel scans normal

Recent scans show foundling baby Emmanuel has no internal abnormalities which dispels another set of fears as his kidneys prove to be fully functional. 
Today he is getting small feeds on a regular basis and notably making some positive progress. 
The doctor says that he is gradually gaining weight towards 2 kilos which is recommended before discharge. 
All the same, the doctor is concerned about his intolerance to milk and has suggested a visit to a specialist in Mombasa.
Uncle Billy says: "Our key partners, Pope Francis Rescue Home, have asked us into a meeting on the way forward .
"Best wishes to our brave little fighter.
" Many thanks for all our family and friends who have joined us in thoughts and prayers."

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The best place, by Gabriel

A scholarship in our school has transformed Gabriel's life.
He was working on a building site trying to help support his family, when he became one of our first scholarship students in 2014.
Without Happy House he would have been destined to a life of poverty. Now he has a chance to make something of his life.
He writes:
We are so happy with our environment at Happy House school because it is so nice and interesting  more than than any other places you may come across.
 Our buildings are well arranged in that our visitors when they come do not suffer because it takes a short time to find what they need.
They do not waste time because they get assisted by the right people in an efficient way. 
We also have the best washroom at the left side in front of our classroom and we  have the a wonderful dining hall where we usually take our meals at the intended time.
In the grounds we have green vegetation with flowers which makes our perimeter fence look beautiful and makes sure our eyes are never bored when we get out during break time, lunch and games time.
 We also have the best computer room, lab and library with all the resourses we need. We, the students, enjoy them so much and thank you for providing them.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Trio of birthdays

 There was a triple birthday celebration at Kidz Club this week.
With the family gathered,  there were songs, greetings and gifts for the three children who have birthdays this week.
Esther Hayward, Sudi Bakari and Rose Safari happily received their gifts bags.
With Mama Papa and Uncle Billy away, Auntie Rose led the meeting and  the boys in the Upstairs Room 1 (pictured right) were were congratulated for keeping their rooms clean and tidy.
Charity(left) was also congratulated for ensuring that the room she shares and where she is leader is kept clean and tidy.
New arrival Michael was welcomed with a song.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Michael joins our family

Meet Michael Israel.
He's settling down in playgroup class after becoming the newest member of our family
We have been asked to take Michael, approximately 15 months, into our care so that his young mum, who is being supported by wellwishers, can continue her education.
Contact will be encouraged and maintained and we are hope they will be reunited before too long.
It costs £20 a month to sponsor a Happy House child and change a life. 
We badly need sponsors for children living in our care and also for those, from abject poverty,  on our free place scholarship scheme in our school. 
Please can you help?
Contact: elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Fred's special visitor and Emmanuel update

Having a sponsor family is lovely for a Happy House child.
They receive letters, postcards, encouragement and love from their sponsor friends who although, they may live far away, include their Happy House child in their lives.
It is extra special when a sponsor is able to visit.
Deborah Ferrari from the Italian town of Cirie is back in Watamu and top of her list of places to visit and people to see were Happy House and her sponsor child, Fred Safari.
Deborah was thrilled to see how Freddie had grwon since her last visit and to catch up with his brother and sisters, Mariam, Suleiman, Saumu and Rosie.
"I am happy in my heart to see Fred again," she said.
If you would like to know how you can sponsor a child amd change a life please email: elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net

Emmanuel "doing well"

Baby Emmanuel is "doing well" in hospital.  The pediatrician is having difficulty sourcing the hypoallergenic formula milk that he needs and is now hoping she may be able to get some from Nairobi.
In the meantime, he remains on a drip and is "doing well".
Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers.  Please keep them coming for the fragile child.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

School Report: A taste if the east plus Emmanuel update

Visitors from Korea brought a taste of the Far East to Happy House School.
A party of university graduates and students came to see how our school works and also to meet our own students and to share their talents.
Our visitors entertained with songs and plays from their own culture which were all very much enjoyed.
In our high school, the Form 1 students have settled well and getting to grips with the additional subjects they have to take now they have moved up from primary school.
They are keen to beat all the records set by their form predecessors who are now our Form 2!

Special formula for Emmanuel

Our baby Emmanuel Christmas is doing slightly better, Uncle Billy reports.
"The doctor says the problem is that his little tummy won't tolerate the usual formula milk so she is ordering in a supply of  hypoallergenic formula which is what he needs.
We keep hoping for the best.''
Please keep this precious boy in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Brave Emmanuel "a little fighter"

 With love and medical skill, baby Emmanuel Christmas is holding his own.
He was admitted into special baby care on Friday, just a day after joining our family, as his condition was causing concern.
At three weeks old he weighs just a little more than his birth weight of 1.5kg (3lbs.30zs)..
But it was probably because he was such a light weight that saved his life.
He was found, discarded in a pit latrine, early on Christmas day by a young girl on the way to a church service,
When she went to use the toilet,  she heard the weak cries of a baby and rushed to raise the alarm.
Local people smashed through concrete to make a space large enough to lower a rescuer 12ft into the pit to pluck the babe, resting on raw sewage, to safety.
Had he been any heavier he would almost certainly have drowned.
Emmanuel joined our family on Thursday at the request of a rescue centre in Malindi, but on Friday,  Uncle Billy was worried about his condition and took him to a paediatrician. He was admitted to special care.
By Sunday, his tummy had distended, his temperature soared and he needed oxygen for his breathing.
Yesterday, his fever had gone and he was improving but is due to have a scan.
Mama said: "Uncle Billy spoke to the paediatrician who is generally happy with his progress.
"Emmanuel is a bit upset because he's hungry and can't be fed but is getting all he needs via a drip.
"So far, so good.
"He is a little fighter.''
Our special thanks to all our caring friends who are keeping this precious little boy in their thoughts and prayers
We will bring you more updates as and when we can.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Saturday school

 Saturday morning school  is popular with the kids as it is a time when they can go over and build on what they have learnt during the week
This weekend kindergarten pupils concentrated on number work, language and multiplication tables
Primary pupils carried on with class work activities whilst newcomers to our school were given an introduction to computer studies.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

A promise from Kelvin and Mary

Mary Wamboi and Kelvin David moved up to Form 2 Secondary when theschool year started earlier this month,
Both on free-place scholarships, being in secondary school is something they had always dreamed of but, without of scholarships, would have been out of reach. 
These two young people are determined to succeed, They write:
"It was back in November that Mama Sue announced to us that everybody in Form 1 was to move to the next class. 
We were glad to hear such announcements and started the move immediately after the assembly and before the holiday started.
We were so grateful and glad with what Mama had done in bringing us new textbooks that are helping us now we are in Form 2
We say thank you to our lovely Mama Sue. 
New classrooms were also designed to suit us in our learning.
 We, as students,know that nothing comes in vain, that is why we promise to do our best in our studies to show that we really thank our lovely-hearted Mama Sue and all our sponsors and people who play a part in making this project a success.
Thank you once more.''

Baby Emmanuel

In his first day at Happy House Emmanuel's condition caused concern for Uncle Billy and our aunties and after taking him to see a paediatric specialist he has been returned to special care. 
He has a long, hard, road ahead of him and we desperately hope he will pull through and be able to come home again to Happy House.
Only time will tell.
Our thanks to everyone who is sending him thoughts and prayers after reading this update on Facebook.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

A Christmas miracle

This tiny mite is a Christmas miracle.
Born in the early hours of December 25, he was dumped in a pit latrine.
He was clinging to life when he was found and taken to safety.
As public medical facilities have been grounded for more than a month because of a national doctors strike, the tiny newborn was taken to the private hospital, Tawfiq, in Malindi where he received care and then moved to a rescue centre in the town,
Police are investigating in the hope of tracing his mother,.
On Thursday, Uncle Billy received a call from the rescue centre asking Happy House to give him a home and, as we all know,  at Happy House  there is "always room for another"
Uncle Billy said the baby boy, named for the day he was born, must have been premature: "But he is notably a strong fighter and a good feeder and expected to grow in no time. 
"All his new brothers and sisters were so happy to welcome him. 
"Aunties Millie and Janet had met with the rescue centre matron so as to ensure his smooth transition". 
Welcome home baby Emmanuel Christmas!
* It costs £20 a month to sponsor a child like, Emmanuel. If you would like to make a difference to a young life by sponsoring please contact Elizabeth Gomm elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net

Friday, 20 January 2017

Susanna's shopping spree

 Our friend Susanna Gregorgio has been out shopping for groceries and what a lot she got!
Susanna spent more than 12000 Kenya shillings on buying store cupboard staples,
The money was raised by Susanna's friends back home in Milan from the sale of pre-loved sports clothing at GetFIT Milan.
Susanna's husband, Livio Leardi, is CEO and owner  of GetFIT, and they are great supporters of our Happy House.
Thank you to everyone at  GetFIT for helping to mak difference to our children.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Kids in voice

With Mama and Papa taking a few days break, Uncle Billy led Kidz Club this week.
He reminded the children how they should conduct themselves in school and how they should always remember to use their "nice words" with please and thank you at the top of the list.
The family divided into two teams - Mama's Team and Papa's Team for a sing-off and Mama's Team emerged the winners!
Well done kids.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

School Report: Wake-up call

Youngsters have returned to school energised after their long holiday and the first exams of the term have taken place to give them all a "wake-up" call.
Mr Steve,who brings you this week's School Report, writes:  "Our aim is to be the best nationwide and we, the Happy House family, believe that, yes, we CAN!
We are delighted to welcome new pupils who have joined our school this term. They are settling in and making new friends.
At Happy House School the children help each other and we know that this will help our new students to feel at home."

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Mama's new year update

New Year is off to a good start at Happy House..
Today we bring you the first video update of 2017 from Mama Sue and Uncle Billy.
Please click on the link below to go to video.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Listen and learn

On Saturday morning school takes a different turn.
Scholarship kids and Happy House children join together for all kinds of interesting and stimulating activities,
This weekend teachers spent time helping kids who need a bit of extra help while in other parts of school there were motivational sessions.
Francis, a scholarship student who is in form 2 secondary school, spoke to primary pupils urging them to work hard and take their education seriously.
He told them that education is something that no one could take away from them and to value every moment as it was their way to ensure a brighter and better future.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Our laboratory by Rita

Scholarship student Rita loves learning science and being able to put theory into practice with practical experiments in our laboratory.
The lab, funded by Blackpool Soroptimist's Christine Walker Memorial Fund, is in use every day.
Rita writes: I am happy to write  this blog. Our lab is next to the secondary school.
 It is  a large room painted in white colour.
It has three windows and one blackboard.
At the centre of the lab, there is a wide  bench table surrounded by stools.
 In addition to that there is a small table for teacher, Mr Laurent, and a chair. 
Also we have a lot of apparatus found in the lab e.g. beakers, test tubes, bunsen burners and other items. 
All the sciences are done in the lab and we enjoy them very much.
 Many visitors enjoy coming to our lab to look at how our beautiful lab is.
 There is no other beautiful lab in the society like ours. 
We thank all those who participated in building our lab and we appreciate them. 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Mama's empty nest

Poor Mama's suffering from empty nest syndrome as the last of her babies left at home at the Happy House has started school this week.
Elizabeth Anne, 18 months, joined the playgroup class in school and is settling in well.
With Nicholas, two months her junior, walking first and starting playgroup last term, Elizabeth (left) was on her own in the baby banda.
Now she's found her feet, Mama and Uncle Billy agreed it was time for her to join her peers and teacher Md Sarah was delighted to have another fledging in her class.
It's early days for Elizabeth but she's doing fine,  while for Mama it's another story.
Mama always has a huge workload, but after the long school holiday with kids around all the time, the Happy House seems so very quiet.
Luckily, school just a few minutes away she can pop down any time she wishes!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Time for a cuddle

After a long day at school, one little boy needed to curl up on Mama's lap for a cuddle during in Kidz Club this week.
Abdulmalik found a nice cosy place in Mama's arms as she spoke to  the first Kidsz Club gathering at Happy House of the new school term.

Mama talked to the kids about working hard at school, doing their homework and staying focussed.
Head teacher Mr Isaac also spoke to them in a motivational and encouraging way.
Margaret who is back at Happy House after passing her KCPE to join Form 1 of secondary school was welcomed.
There is no secondary school close to where her Uncle and Aunt live so Mama has ensured she can continue her education at Happy House.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Thank you for our books

For the young people on scholarships in our school education is their only road out of poverty.
And once on that road, they need the vehicles to help them complete their journey - books.
Back in November, we launched a Buy a Book Appeal to raise £2000 to cover the cost of text booksfor every student in our Form 2  secondary school which would open when the 2017 academic year started this month, plus the books needed by their subject teachers.
By Christmas, thanks to YOU, we had acheived our target.
Now settled back into school, the youngsters are excited to be using the books you bought them and in today's video Mama and the kidsexpress their thanks to everyone who supported our appeal.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

School Report: Helping hands

Auntie Coral
 Volunteers play a big part in our school assisting teachers wherever they can.
And as pupils have returned to begin another academic year, Auntie Coral and Auntie Gussy are back in class.
Coral Blackhurst has been volunteering for several years now and the kids are always pleased to see her when she returns to Happy House school.
Auntie Gussy
Coral, who at one time owned a nursery in Preston, is a wonderful storyteller and also has a huge bank of action and counting songs to share.
Auntie Coral also works with children who, through no fault of their own, have missed out on schooling and need some help to catch up with their peers in literacy and numeracy.
Gussy Bunbury, has experience of working in special needs schools, and uses her strengths to help little ones who have special needs and other little ones who need a bit of extra in put.
Meanwhile, across our schools youngsters have resumed serious  and focused studies. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Juicy treat

Juicy pineapple is in season right now in Kenya and the kids absolutely love it.
It's refreshing and thirst-quenching after a busy morning of play.
On Saturday, there was pineapple all round thanks to a donation from Angela Carmon, who is in the sponsor families of Natasha Franco and Neema John.
Angie wanted the kids to have a fruity treat and Mama chose pineapple because it is so abundant making it the flavour of the month
Thank you Angie, everyone enjoyed it.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Papa Leeds his army!

Leeds supporter Papa is enlisting new recruits to his favourite team's army of fans.
And he's catching them young!
A happy band of footie soldiers love nothing better than trooping behind Papa singing the Leeds' fan theme "Marching on Together" at the top of their voices.
And they fall about laughing as they copy his moves, including a cheeky wiggle!
Win or lose, Leeds tops the league for our Happy House little ones.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

My hopes, by Moses

Hi everyone, I  am Moses Cosmos,
I am glad this morning to share with you some writings about my hopes.
Being a Happy House scholarship kid makes me happy.
I have now, from this week,  been promoted to to Form Two  in secondary school , which has motivated me in the progress of my education. 
Being a scholarship kid has shown me the vivid picture of my future life which will be as bright. When I wake up each morning  I see good things life holds for me. 
With all good things Happy House has done for me  I can fulfill my hopes of feeding hungry minds and supporting  the poor in society as my pay forward what the  Happy House family has done for me.
 My heart is filled with peace, due to the efforts of Mama Sue and all our sponsors I know I have a future which is full of hope and no longer hopeless.
I am thankful for all I have. 
May God keep you and bless you.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Birthday double

 Birthday cheers, songs and greetings sounded out loudly for two birthday children this week.
Taking centre stage at Kidz Club were Abdulmalik, who has just turned three, and Neema, who a year his senior, is now four!
Mama and Papa presented Neema with her bag of birthday gifts, whilst Uncle Billy did the honours for Abdulmalik.
Happy birthday kids.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Look smart, be smart - yes, you too, Abdulmalik!

With Class 8 of 2016 doing so well in the KCPE exams they are very proudly moving up into secondary school.
And their achievements have put our school, once again, at the very top of the education zone and we look set to be well placed when the district and the county results are announced later this month.
So it was a very happy Mama who addressed the first school assembly of the new academic year, encouraging children to look smart and be smart.
Buttoned up:
Abdulmalik, having joined assembly looking neat and tidy caught Mama's eye as he'd decided to unbutton his shirt and it was flapping open!
She couldn't resist a chuckle as he is one of our youngest
pupils, and he was soon all fastened up again.
Uncle Billy, our social worker and general manager, also told the children the importance of getting straight back to work.
Head teacher Uncle Isaac congratulated the successful KCPE candidates and the whole school gave them a round of applause.
It was then into class, books out and lessons on.
Have a happy time kids.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Here we go

Excited and full of anticipation, youngsters poured back into school yesterday as the  bell signalled the start of  a new year.
It was a day to settle back to work as they have moved up a class and have a new form teacher and more demanding study schedule.
The day, started with an assembly with Mama, social worker and general manager, Uncle Billy, and headteacher Mr Isaac with a few timely reminders!
Don't miss tomorrow's blog when we will have some video for you from the first day assembly.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

All smart for school start

There's no last minute rush to get the kids back to school at Happy House.
As with everything, Mama has ensured advance planning will make today's transition from the end of the long holiday back to class as smooth as possible.
Teachers have been getting the classrooms ready for their pupils, they have all the books and materials they need and our children have the uniform and shoes they need.
Items that have been outgrown, but not worn out, have been handed down to younger children while our resident dressmaker, Lucy, has made new uniforms for anyone who needs them.
Shoes, leather school shoes and  pumps for PE,  that are still wearable have also been handed own, and new ones bought for those who need them.
We are grateful to those of you who have made donations towards uniform or shoes for your sponsor children,whether they are living at Happy House or those are now living back with family members and attending new schools, or scholarship students in our school.
It's an expensive time and your donations are a huge help. Thank you,