Thursday, 31 August 2017

Appeal passes first £1000 milestone

We're on the way!
Generous friends have taken our £7000 Classrooms for Kids Appeal past it's first £1000 in the first two days.
We are so grateful for the kindness of those who believe in what we are doing for our children and who donate so generously when we ask for help.
The two new classrooms are an essential addition to our secondary school, to ensure that we can keep timetabling lessons using the two Smart televisions we have  do not have to compromise on the quality of education 
 We are able to keep the cost to £7,000 (which allows for a very small contingency) because we have some of our own skilled labour – including a joiner, painter and the project will be supervised a member of our team who will work under the direction and to the exacting standards of Mama and Papa.
All our building work complies with building regulations in Kenya.
 The costs are as follows:
·         Building materials: Concrete blocks, cement, sand etc. £3,000. 
·         Roofing (locally made makuti thatching on timber frame) £2000
·         Electrics (we use the services of a local electrician ) £300
·         Paint £200.
·         Doors and windows (to be made in-house by our joiner Charo)  £250
·         Furniture: £625
·         Labour (casual labour):  approx. £500
·         This adds up to a total of £6,875. 
 We aim, funds permitting, to construct the building in the long school holiday, which starts early November and to complete in time for the start of the new school year at the start of January 2018. This will give us adequate time.
 As you can see there are no hidden costs. 
 We don’t have any paid fundraisers, the only people we employ are Kenyans working in our children’s home or school so every single pound, euro or dollar donated goes exactly where  it is intended.
Please help us to build this classrooms by making a donation towards the cost, every amount, not matter how small, will be another bag of nails, brick or bag of cement towards our target. 
If you would like to make a donation by cheque (payable to Happy House) it can be sent to  our volunteer coordinator Elizabeth Gomm, 6 Burwood Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8NS.
Our kids count on us, we count on you.
Thank you

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Fired up to work hard

Just  some of our kids attending assembly
 As we launched our Classrooms for Kids Appeal, aimed at raising £7,000 to add to new classrooms to our secondary school by January, our Happy House kids were settling down to work for the toughest term of the year.
In the Kenya education system, progression from one form to another depends on performance and the end of year exams, coming up in late October early November, are crucial.
And because of the General Election, which was last month, the coming term is also the shortest our teachers have ever known.
Both them and their students are all geared up to do continue to do their very best, which is all we ask of them.
For our Class 8 Primary students this term brings the crucial national exam, the KCPE, the results of which will determine whether they move on to secondary school.
At the opening day assembly, Mama Sue, who inspires everyone she meets with her own dedication and drive, told the kids how they can fulfil their hopes and dreams through staying focused and working hard at their lessons.
Mama is a motivational force and talks personally to every child, from kindergarten upwards, about their school work and their aspirations.
And after listening intently to what she had to say to them all collectively at assembly, and with more encouraging words from the school head, Mr Isaac, students headed off to class all fired up for the challenging time ahead.
Please can you support our building fund by making a donation or holding a fundraising event.   In the first day  £110 has been raised by supporter and sponsor Fiona Lockyer and her friends.
Fiona and her twin daughters Hebe and Imogen, who have been supporting the Happy House for a number of years, will be visiting Watamu and our family in December and are looking forward to seeing the building work in progress.
With their help and yours it will be.
To make an online donation go to:

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Classrooms for Kids £7000 Appeal

Today we are launching an appeal to raise £7,000 to build two new classrooms by January.
Our school puts hope into the hearts of kids where once there was none.
Children and young people living in our children's home and on our scholarship scheme,  all from desperate poverty, are achieving high results in a school where we are giving them a free education that is second to none.
We believe it is essential to equip them for a hi-tech world and through the use of technology we broaden their outlook and their understanding.
As well as having a dedicated computer room, with internet access, we also have two Smart televisions with wifi.
Both donated these are used as a learning tool for classes from playgroup  to secondary school .Lessons, where Smart TV is used, are timetabled by teachers and both are in use all day, every day.
For the younger kids they are key to developing language skills, bringing a marked improvement in English and use of language.  They are becoming fluent in English more quickly than ever before.Teachers are using tvs to stream programmes, videos and apps and are discovering a new impetus for teaching which they have only ever done from text books.They harness technology to give them a flexible and exciting approach to delivering lessons, which keeps students engaged in what they are doing.
But because they are housed in two rooms, originally intended as classrooms, we must now build two new classrooms by January.
Because we have our own skilled labour, and with Papa driving the best deals on materials, we can estimate we can keep the cost down to £7,000.
Every penny has to be raised and we are asking YOU to help us.
Please make a donation, hold an event, set yourself a sponsored challenge or collect among your friends. 
If you need leaflets, help with publicity, etc please contact Elizabeth Gomm who will be happy to help: We only have a short time to raise the money and complete the build.
Our children count on us, and we count on you. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

Ready for school

 Getting one or two children sorted out and ready for the start of a new school term can be pretty hectic, so imagine what it is like when you have a family of more than 80 kids.
The last week has been very busy with teachers and staff working together to ensure that each child will be looking as bright as a new pin for school assembly when school returns this morning.
The older children take responsibility for getting their own things ready, but we have so many little ones that they need a helping hand.
There were socks to sort so teacher Md Eunice helped Aunty Eunice with that, while Md Elizabeth had a marathon session polishing shoes and Md Naomi was busy ironing uniforms.
The kids are excited about starting the third and final term of this academic year. 
It's an important term and for Class Eight primary a very important one as they will be taking their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam in November.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Thank you for my chance by Ann

 Scholarship student Ann Joseph has excelled since being given a free place in our school.
Having been given a chance of an education, she understands that to make it work you must work hard.
Ann is sponsored by Andrea Manders, who travelled out to Kenya for the first time this summer and go to meet the three children she is helping through her sponsorship.
Ann is the eldest of them and Andrea has given her constant support and encouragement through letters and emails, so it was a real pleasure for them to meet at last.
Anne writes today's blog:
My name is Ann.I am in form one secondary school.
 First I would like to thank Mama for bringing the volunteers who come to our school.
 I hope they are enjoy being here and feeling our HAPPY HOUSE POWER!
 I also want to thank them for their great support.
Andrea  has been of great importance ,which makes me proud because what she has done for me is good and has even motivated me to work even harder because this is a golden chance that I could not have been able to get anywhere else.
I am not taking this chance for. granted.
I am giving thanks to  Mama for this free education she has offered to us and all the things she has been giving us, including text books, a special laboratory for conducting practical experiments, a study room,  new computers and for providing breakfast club so we eat before school..

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Welcome to our visitors

We love having visitors to Happy House and this week were pleased to welcome and old friend and to make some new ones!
Deborah Ferrari, from Italy, who is in our Fred's sponsor family was just thrilled to be reunited with the little boy who holds a special piece of her heart.
Deborah very kindly brought gifts for Fred and his brother Suleiman and sisters, Mariam, Saumu and Rose and sent a parcel of clothing which will be so useful.
Thank you Deborah for your friendship and support.

Auntie Rose welcomed visitors staying at Medina Palms Hotel,  Megan Irvine Mordaunt,  Aurora Khachik, Grace and their mother, who are all from Monaco.
They were interested to see the Happy House, to learn about the work we are doing and to meet our children!
Thank you to all our visitors for coming. We hope you will always remember us.

Mama Sue popped in again yesterday and  there were lots of cuddles waiting for her.
David and Abdulmalik were first to greet her racing to climb on her lap as soon as she opeed the car door!
Mama enjoyed some relaxing time  with the kids and  there were biscuits all round!

Friday, 25 August 2017

A treat from Mama

 Mama Sue, who is always so busy, has been taking a few days break this week to give herself, and Papa, a well earned rest.
Everyone misses her when she's not there, just as she misses them, and so there was great delight when she popped in yesterday on a surprise visit.
And for those kids who are at home, and not on visits to relatives, she had a treat - fresh apples!
Apples are a delicacy in Kenya, and the kids crunched and munched with glee,

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Cooking together

Another happy day of teamwork at Happy House, with home staff, teachers and kids working together just as a family should.
Teachers enjoyed helping  to prepare pizza and chapatis with kids in the kitchen.
Another group was outdoors with  Mr. Moshe and Mr. Kelvin who did a cleanup of the compound and weeding in the vegetable shamba.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Helping hands

 We are one big family, children and staff, and with a lot of our kids away visiting relatives our teachers are helping out with tasks around the house.
Mr Laurent is assisting Uncle Ronnie, our social worker, in updating records on all the children and Md Elizabeth and Md Sarah have been making bread in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, Mr Kelvin has been outdoors with a group of kids raking the grounds to keep them tidy and Mr Isaac is spending  time with some of the children to help them improve in their weaker areas.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Home visits

 This is the last week of the school holiday and some of our Happy House have gone to stay with relatives for a few days.
It's important to maintain strong links with family members and the children and families enjoy being together.
Relatives who cannot not support a child at home on a full-time basis, make a real effort to give their young relatives a happy time when they go on a visit.
They will all be back home at Happy House at the end of the week in time to get ready for the new term, the final one of this academic year, on August 28.
Pictured are some of the children who have gone on home visits: Top left: Husna and Hussein with their grandmother; top right: Purity, Jessica and Stephano with their aunt and bottom left: Baraka Mkutano with his elder sister.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Tables time

Our kids have been brushing up on their times tables with some competitive fun .
With tables in the banda designated to individual times tables from two to 12, the kids graduated from from to another only when they shown they were competent.
Mama Sue awarded prizes to children from the kindergarten section who did their best.
Those who received prizes (pictured)
were  Daudi, Jessica, Harry, Brian Zia, Lydia, Baraka Kaingu and Abu.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Happy holidays by Hassan

Today's blog is written by Hassan, younger brother of last week's blogger, Maria.
They were two of the first members of our family, arriving soon after we opened in 2010.
Having maintained strong links with their aunt who lives in the Gongoni area, we were able to reunite them as a family in 2015.
We continue to meet the costs of their schooling and healthcare.
We check on them often and they have just been back to Happy House for a visit.
Hassan writes:
 I have come to Happy House for a holiday and also to visit my family members and my lovely Mama and Papa.
I like being home but I miss my friends and Mama Sue and Papa, because I was with them for a long time.
 The thing that I have been doing is playing games like football, netball and volleyball. 
I also learnt some acrobats styles, and I was the best among them all.
I really had a nice time with them all, and I’m pleased to be with Mama and Papa too.
 I also enjoy the pizzas on a Saturday they were really nice and tasty.
 May God bless our beautiful and lovely Mama Sue 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Burger king and queen!

Tickling our kids tastebuds with tasty dishes they wouldn't normally get helps to brighten their outlook on the world of food.
Their introduction to pizza has been a resounding success, and so this week Mama and Papa decided to show our cooks and our kids how to make beefburgers.
Mama and Papa, who owned a hotel in Blackpool before giving up their lives in the UK to devote all their time to their Happy House family, are both accomplished cooks and enjoy passing on their knowledge.
Using the freshest ingredients, they staged a masterclass for plenty of willing helpers!
When the burgers were made they were slotted into bread rolls sliced and spread with ketchup or mayonnaise and enjoyed by some very happy eaters, making Papa and Mama the Happy House Burger King and Queen.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Doctors see bright outlook for twins

Many of the children who come into the loving care of Happy House arrive in poor health.
As we nourish them, we nurture them. We seek out the best medical help to get them well and for those with ongoing issues we ensure they are monitored and receive all the treatment they need.
Twins Gift and Tumaini were in a very poor state when they arrived in 2016.
Their mum had died of HIV Aids and their father was too sick to look after them. Both boys, who were living in poverty with an aunt,  are infected with the HIV virus and on a course of medication.
But the medicine could not work effectively because they were getting little to eat and malnourished.
We have built up their strength, with regular healthy meals and snacks, and have been supported at the monthly clinics they attend and, most important, given the medication they receive exactly as directed - twice a day and always at the same time.
They are growing and full of energy.
At their most recent visit to the specialist clinic, doctors were surprise and delighted with how well they are doing,  Blood tests revealed their viral load has reduced significantly and doctors predict that if it continues that way, they will be able to come off medication in March next year.
The medics praised Happy House for its determination to get the kids well and for its dedication to their care.
Mama said: " This is such an achievement for all concerned specially the aunties who make sure they get their medicine exactly as directed and for Uncle Ronnie who oversees the medical care of all our children.
"This is not the first time we have managed this successfully,  We had previously supported Ludwin, who was a baby when she came, until she could come off medication and she remains in good health.
"She and Lesley had returned to their mum, but sadly things have not worked out for the family and the two children are now safely back in our care - happy and healthy!''
Aunties pictured are Velma, Constance, Philis, Eunice, Fatuma, Millicent, Esther and Purity 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Brian's looking up!

Huge congratulations to Brian Makotsi for being promoted to sleeping upstairs.
Kids have to earn the the right to sleep upstairs by showing they are responsible and well behaved and once Mama and Uncle Ronnie are satisfied that they deserve to share a room upstairs they move.
Brian was delighted when it was announced at Kidz Club that he was on the move, with Mama praising him for being a kind and responsible boy,
Well done Brian.
Apologies to anyone who read the blog earlier, Auntie Libby accidentally named the wrong Brian ... it can be confusing when there are three in the family!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Beach babes and Christmas date

Splashing in the sea and playing on the sand ... just what holidays are for!
A trip to the beach is always a a treat for out kids and they trooped down as a family, with aunties and teachers to supervise, for a morning on the beach.
They enjoyed frolicking in the water before drying off in the sunshine while playing on the beach. Some making sand castles and others playing games.
One group of boys had great fun burying their Brian in the sand!
Little Elizabeth was belle of the beach in her swimsuit and shades!
And after a very happy morning, the wear band of brothers and sisters returned to Happy House in time for a tasty lunch.

Christmas is coming ...

Christmas at Happy House will come early so that the children, repatriated to their families, can come back to join in the celebrations - just as they did last year.
The week-long activities will be from December 10-16.
Our friends from overseas are always welcome, but Mama Sue says it is very helpful if they let her know in advance that they will be visiting at the time.
Indeed, if anyone is intending to visit at any time of the year, not just Christmas, please let Mama Sue know.  
We like to make sure the whole family know you are coming and, if you are a sponsor, to make sure your sponsor child knows and can look forward to seeing you.
That way we can make it a special time for you, and for them.
So please, as soon as you book your holiday, drop Mama an email:

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


The team of acrobats who thrilled the kids with their amazing skills a week ago, have made a welcome return to Happy House,
In a thrilling training session the acrobats put the kids through some exercises before supervising them as they tried to copy some of their formations.
Our David, six,  who as we all know is a determined little acrobat himself, received some one to one support and at the close of the show he ended up on top of the world at the acrobats elevated him to the top of their human tower      

Monday, 14 August 2017

Birthdays galore

Sorry to bring you birthday news from last week a bit late.
Samson had the happy task of presenting Purity with her birthday gift at Kidz Club.
Purity was delighted with her gifts and the greeting she received from all our Happy House family. 
There were more birthdays to celebrate  with greetings and gifts -Mariam who is pictured with Aunty Rose, Gift  with Aunty Velma, Tumaini pictured with Aunty Philis and a very smiley Joshua with Papa.
Happy birthday kids

Sunday, 13 August 2017

My holiday at Happy House, by Maria

Brother and sister Hassan and Maria were two of the first members of our family, arriving sooner after we opened in 2010.
Having maintained strong links with their aunt who lives in the Gongoni area, they were able to go to live with her in late 2015, whilst we continue to support the costs of their education in a local school and any healthcare costs.
They have settled well. They came back for the reunion last Christmas and are always delighted to see Mama, Papa and Uncle Ronnie when they visit,
In this school holidays they asked Mama if they could come for a "home" visit and, naturally, she said yes.
Maria, 16, has written today's blog.
" I am very glad to be here with  Mama Sue and  I really enjoy this holiday. 
We have done so many activities like learning playing football and going for nature walk. 
We have really learnt much,  Mr. Isaac has really helped me in some of the weak subjects like mathematics and science.
Mama Sue really cares for us and I really love her.  She loves small kids and everyone else in the Happy House family.
 On Saturday we normally take pizzas for lunch and enjoy them so much. I also enjoy cooking in the kitchen and washing utensils too. Making coffee is the best thing I like to do.
 All the snacks, lunch and dinner are all good for me and for my health as they are for all the children. The room which I sleep is really good, I like the bed, lockers and breeze. My room captain is Rukia and how lovely she is.
She is kind, polite, honest and a good role model for young people.
 I also learnt some of the good manners like please, thank you, pardon, excuse me please and so many different words from Rukia and the other kids. 
Mama Sue is always good and she likes kids with good behaviours..  
Having such a beautiful home like Happy House is such a privilege and opportunity."

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Teachers outrun by kids!

 There's no challenge our Happy House kids enjoy more than taking on their teachers at sports.
And they had the best time when they played games of football and volleyball  hammering the teachers in both, even though they had Auntie Millicent on their side,
Baraka Mkutano scored both goals in the soccer game and in volleyball the kids won with one set.
Those youngsters not playing were spectators cheering on their brothers and sisters with cries of Happy House power, super power!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Safe and sound

Reports of some unrest following the Kenya elections have caused concern for some of our friends.
Mama Sue has received emails from people worried that the Happy House may be affected and asking if all is well.
The elections have in fact been more peaceful than in previous years,
Today, Mama explains just how things are at Happy House this week and  says thank you for caring.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Brushing up

Our kids are enjoying the school holidays, spending some time having fun and games whilst also having a chance to work with teachers on brushing  up on their studies in areas where they are weakest.
They all want to do well, so they really enjoy doing a bit extra to take them nearer to that goal.
And when their books are put away at the end of the session, it's out to play.