Thursday, 30 November 2017

Grubby hands to greet me!

There were so many grubby little hands to greet me when I spent my first morning with the kids at home at Happy House, writes our UK voluntary coordinator Elizabeth Gomm.
Hot and dusty, it’s impossible to keep clean in the searing heat of Kenya and as this was a bank holiday they had been playing out since breakfast.
By the time I arrived with Mama Sue and Papa Dave, they little ones were coated in the grime of healthy outdoor play.
The older ones were helping around the house, organised in rotas by their own Kids Council.  Some in the kitchen, others in the laundry and some down the road at school.
Helping in the house comes naturally to these children, as does helping each other.  When a baby cries, there is always an older child at the ready to win the smiles back.
Happy House resonates with love.
As we pull up, Mama calls “Kidz Club!”. The word spreads like wildfire. Talk about bush telegraph!
By the time we got to the kids lounge, there were children coming in from every direction . Leaving their shoes in neat rows.
The new kids introduce themselves, then some do songs, poems or other party pieces brimming over with confidence and zest for life.
Their energy is boundless.
They have biscuits, no one snatching, everyone saying thank you, and then it is back off to play or pick up whatever they were doing until lunch.
On Monday there was a more formal welcome, a surprise to me, but Mama as usual had planned everything down to the nth degree,
Tired after an excessively long journey, Sue insisted we should just pop into Happy House to say hello, and after chatting with Aunties Rose and Velma and Uncle Ronnie, she said “Come on we’ll go down to school!"
The gates opened, the singing started and we pulled up to the large banda where everyone was assembled waiting to say hello. They sang a welcome as loud as they could, followed by Happy Birthday as it had been a few days earlier.
There were lots of greetings, lots of love, and a wonderful show by our talented kids who took my arrival as an opportunity to give me a preview of their school closing day show which takes place tomorrow.
Mr Steve who took the picture of me with Morphin, Pendo and Natasha wrote: "It was a wonderful afternoon whereby all Happy House kids gathered to at the Banda for a special welcome to our own beloved Aunty Libby who has been away a while.
Pendo, Natasha and Morphin were waiting to give her a special welcome.
We also take that time to show aunty Libby what we are having for closing day ceremony items which were play, poems, songs, dances and acrobat for surely it was so fantastic when Musyoka and Johnny did a Kamba dance and Mr. Isaac  caused great excitement by doing some break dancing moves!
Our thanks to Aunty Libby for her hard work to ensure our kids get their needs by searching sponsors and by raising money.
We also thank Mama Sue for being here for us every minute of every day.
In everything may our almighty give you more strength and wisdom to lead way for this generation of kids."
Mr Steve is right, it was a fantastic welcome.
I feel lucky beyond words to be a part of this very special family and to be so loved.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Kids keep costs down!

 With any building work we do at Happy House, Mama insists on keeping costs to an absolute minimum.
And as we need new classrooms for school, the kids are keen to do their bit to help and to show their appreciation to each one of you who has made a donation or raised finds to help to make the build possible.
So they have been getting together in their free time to help collect stones from the school grounds which can be used when it comes to put in the footings, They know that with every pile collected it will be a few shillings saved.
Pictured left are: Musyoka, Briana nd Baraka and right: Baraka, John, Musyoka, Brian, Jacinta and Samson being helped by Uncle Morris 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Megan makes a splash

Megan is back row left,
Megan Irvine Mordaunt  has made a huge splash for Happy House.
Megan, who visited Happy House this summer and and fell in love with our kids , swam 500 laps of her school pool over three days last week.
And Megan, a student at Cheltenham Ladies College, smashed her target of raising 7000 euro for Happy House through sponsorship from generous family and friends.
" I was  inspired by the incredible work being done to give these children a better future. I feel that I would be extremely passionate about being able to contribute to raising funds in order to build the classrooms that are so desperately needed for the secondary school students..
I go to The Cheltenham Ladies College where from the start of our academic career there is a great emphasis on helping those less fortunate through specific house or even school-wide projects which help raise money and awareness whilst perhaps also inspiring others to get involved in the cause."

Megan's donation will enable us to go ahead with Mama Sue's revised plan of  building four new classrooms instead of the two we had originally planned -  which will give us a room for each class, plus some additional space for use for specialist groups or subjects.
Megan's efforts are amazing and we are truly grateful to her and all those who sponsored her and to Cheltenham Ladies College.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Help for Khalid

With most of our children, love, security, respect and nurture heals their ills, but occasionally  it is not enough,
Khalid has suffered more than most children and after spending many hours with him, Mama and Uncle Ronnie asked him if he would like to return to Furaha Home, a specialist home for deeply traumatised kids which can provide  him with the psychological support he needs.
Khalid wanted to go back.
Key workers at Furaha, Samson and Evelyn, made the journey to collect him.
Mama said: "Evelyn is an amazing woman who truly has a calling to help children like Khalid.
 We know, and so does he, that he will get the help he needs there and we hope that when he has been through his psycotheraphy he will be able to return to his family here at Happy House.
"He is in no doubt of how much he is loved here."

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Our school

Sharlet Rehema is a scholarship student, grateful and happy to be in Happy House School.
She writes:
Our school is located in Watamu
In our school we have many teachers who teach us good behaviors
We learn many different subjects including, for example,  maths, English and science.
We pupils have good moral values.
Our head teacher is called teacher Mr Isaac
He teaches us English and Maths.
We have desks, chairs and all the things we need to learn.
We are always happy.
Our school motto is happy education,  bright future.
I am happy to be at Happy House school.


Saturday, 25 November 2017

Peter gets his hair off!

A cancer surviving Santa who now has a full head of hair again after losing it all whilst having chemotherapy, is planning to go shaven-headed for Happy House
Peter Reid, who this year was given the all-clear from cancer, is hoping his sponsored head-shave will bring a Christmas bonus of £600 to Happy House  where, for the third year, he will also be playing the role of Father Christmas.
Peter and his wife Joanne are regular visitors to the Happy House and are in Florence's sponsor family,
Pete will have his head shaved while they are visiting Happy house next month and is hoping some of the older kids will take a turn with the clippers. 
"I wanted to do something more exciting than just have a donation page, " he said.
"Now having a full head of hair after losing it when I had chemotherapy for bowel cancer, I thought a head-shave would have some impact.
"Being Santa to kids  is very special indeed."
To support Peter's fundraising effort please go to fundraising/peter-reid8

Friday, 24 November 2017

Paint alert!

There were no birthdays to celebrate at Kidz Club this week, so it was just a time for the family to gather to share news and look ahead.
Mama reminded the kids that Uncle Isaac has been busy painting the walls and asked them to try their best to keep their little fingers away from the fresh paint!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Building plans

The measurements are taken and plans drawn for the new classrooms we need for our secondary school.
Mama Sue has taken an assessment of the needs and decided it makes sense to build another for classrooms, instead of just the two urgently needed, to ensure our three schools have the ancillary classrooms needed by any educational establishment.
Even though the initial outlay is much higher, it is is much more cost effective to build them together now than to phase the development.
Our builder Carlos , the contractor who will be in charge, spent a morning with Papa going over the details of the plans.
You can help to build a future for our children by donating to our Classrooms for Kids Appeal

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

School Report: Big day

It's a big day today for the class of 2017!
The Year 8 Primary students, now set to be form one secondary in January, should receive the results of their recent Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations this morning - if all goes to schedule.
They are on tenterhooks waiting to know their results.
Meanwhile, pupils are familiarising themselves with the the classes they will be in next term and looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

We are family

Three little ones, called in from play time to take a shower, walk hand in hand.
Hussein, one, and two-year-olds Elizabeth and Michael are close little buddies who help each other.
Even the smallest understand that caring, sharing and helping each other is the Happy House Way.
Uncle Ronnie said: “We teach the kids to love and help each other as a family – and that’s the little kids, big kids and our staff.
Our kids grow up knowing that team work is the best and having good friends makes life perfect.
 At Happy House kids play together, go to school together and help each other in their daily duties. This ensures everyone is important and treated equally.
 In short no one person is extra special, as Mama would say “We are family”.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Thatch's the way!

Keeping the buildings at Happy House, at home and school, well maintained is a never-ending task.
We've already mentioned Uncle Isaac touching up and repainting where needed at home in readiness for Christmas, and now outside the roof on the football stadium is being replaced.
A makuti thatch craftsman, Baya, has been called in to bring his men to do the job.
It's costing £400 to replace the roof, on the stadium which was donated and built by volunteer Francis Asher a few years ago.
The new roof is being given a steep pitch to give it a longer life.
If you would like to make a donation towards the cost please go to

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Engineer of the future

Scholarship student Bernard Charo has his sight set on becoming an engineer.
Here he tells us why:
I like engineering because I would like to invent more things in technology - inventions that will make me famous .
This career could also earn me a lot of money which will also contribute to the improvement of my living standard and also to the standard of loving of other to.
I am ambitious and, as  the saying goes, everything is possible. 
I would be really happy if I can be a successful engineer and I know I must work hard to do this.
I enjoy experimenting and trying out new ideas.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Welcome Auntie Maddy

A new volunteer has been welcomed tio our family.
At Kidz Club the children sang her the welcome song and treated her to a showcase of their acrobatic skills.
Auntie Maddy Dien will be helping with the kindergarten kids and will also assist with teaching computer skills.
Maddy, who is from Los Angeles, USA,  is in Watamu with her husband doing conservation work.
She would like to volunteer in at Happy House for the duration of her stay.
Welcome Maddy.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Christmas decoration!

With the festive season just a few weeks away,  the Happy House family is busy getting ready to celebrate.
Uncle Isaac, who is our decorator, is busy doing some painting the house.
Auntie Millicent has all the Christmas gifts ready for each child so Santa's deliveries can go smoothly.
It will be a very special time as the children, previously in our full-time care, who are now living, with our support, with relatives will be coming back  on December 10 for a week-long holiday.
During that time we will have an early Christmas so that all the kids can be together.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

And this week's Star is ...

 On staff meeting day, the aunties gathered for their weekly meeting with Mama.
But there was a surprise in store for one of them.
Uncle Ronnie said: " We had a nice meeting with all Aunties where everyone shared their experiences at work throughout the past week.
"It was a nice meeting filled with laughter and finally Mama said that our star of the week this time is one of the Aunties. 
"The Aunties were silent because they did not expect that to happen and when Mama finally called Aunt Millicent to be the star of the week there was cheering and singing our "hurray" song.
''Auntie Millicent received her reward for her show of ‘girl power’, we encourage our girls and boys to be strong and determined and to show "girl power" or "boy power".
''It was explained that a man visited Happy House during lunch time on Saturday together with his wife who remained in their car while husband had a chat with Mama.
" It was pizza time and after the kids had theirs Mama requested one for the visitor. Before taking it he said that it’s better if the wife joined them and sent Aunt Millicent to get his the wife,  but Aunt Millicent, with all confidence,told the man to go himself because she was his wife .
"To take a stand is unusual for an African woman. It shows empowerment, it’s girl power."

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Snakes alive!

 When the children were enjoying their mid- morning snacks yesterday, they were joined by an uninvited guest.
They spotted a small snake near the primary school and Mr Steve was alerted.
Nervous of snakes, he  plucked up the courage to pick it up and called Auntie Velma  to tell the local Snake Farm and rescue centre.
They sent someone to take it into their care, who also explained that it was a garter snake which is harmless to humans.
Not all snakes in Kenya are harmless, which made Steve cautious about handling it. He was relieved and interested  to hear all about it and handed it over for safe keeping  after posing fora  few pictures!.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Books joy for students

 Secondary school students and teachers were thrilled when an order of new text books arrived.
With form three opening in January,  Mama Sue ordered all the text books the curriculum demands with enough for every student to have a set..
It's an outlay of £800 and students are encouraged to take great care of the books so they can be handed on in future years.
For the Year 3s, the books mean so much and they are grateful to know that they will have the tools they need to help them learn.
Books are not taken for granted. For our scholarship kids, who because of family poverty, have in the past been denied both schooling and books, having the books they need is a source of wonder and pleasure.
If you would like to make a donation to help towards the cost of the books please go to:

Monday, 13 November 2017

Maths magic and pilau!

 Mama planned today to be a special times table fun day
The kids were given a week to prepare and  were toldthe winners of the event would  be taken for an ice cream treat. 
Each kid was issued with a times table sheet so they could practice.
And practice they did for the big day.
All went as planned, the kids were grouped around different tables and were tested with quick answer mathematical questions applying their times table knowledge.
The winners were Teddy, Lily, Glorious, Phiona and John.
There was also a Bingo game and the winner was William.
Sudoku  was a new addition to the games but nobody succeeded in filling it in correctly.
 All kids enjoyed and learnt a lot.
 Aunty Linda, Aunty Caro, Aunty Gussy and Aunty B also joined us at school.
A lunch, a special treat of chicken pilau was served.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

The best family, by Reuben

Scholarship student Reuben Kahindi is grateful and proud to be a part of our Happy House family.
I first arrived in Happy House in the year 2015, since then Happy house has developed from a small unknown school into being the number one school. This is  due to the hard work and dedication of the pupils, teachers and the school management.
Our Mama Sue works so hard to make sure all the necessary learning tools are provided.
She focuses on the advancement in technology - we have a fully stocked library,  computer  room, and science laboratory.
We have two smart TVs to enhance our education and they makes learning so much more interesting.
In Happy House we have competent teachers who have taken teaching as a calling not just a job to earn money. They are patient and advise us and do not beat us as happens in some schools so we get good results.
We are a family, the Happy House family, and we work together to assist each other..
There’s no way to explain it all but what I can say is, this is the best family.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Kidz Club fun

Kidz Club this week was full of eager anticipation as the children were excited to be taking part in a times table fun day later in the week. 
Mama Sue invited kids to sharpen their tables skills by illustrating what they know and Benedict stepped up to give a show
 case of his times tables talent!. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

Thank you for visiting

 Visitors from Mama's hometown of Manchester came loaded with lovely gifts for our family.
Kevin Murphy his kids Georgina, Abbie, Lily and George,  and Jane Coverdale  enjoyed seeing our home and meeting our family.
Kevin, from Failsworth, said it was lovely to see the great work being done at Happy House.
We are grateful to them for breaking into their holiday to come to see us and for clothing, shoes,accessories and stationery they brought with them
We hope they will remember us, always.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Lessons go on

 While school was taken over by KCPE exams, Happy House became a centre for learning.
Mr Omoi spent time giving computer lessons using the laptops; Mr Paul was helping youngsters with times tables (he's pictured with Khalid) and Auntie B gave Stephano and Prince extra time to concentrate on improving their handwriting.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


With the KCPE exams over and the school once again open to all, there was time to turn attention to getting the children ready for the new school year in January.
This entails moving up to the next class and so with the help of their teachers they were able to move into their new classrooms and learn where they would be sitting.
They were all excited and eager to progress.

The moving process goes on throughout the school and even in the kindergarten there were happy smiling faces as they excitedly went from one classroom to the next.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Family times

How happy we were to welcome the Elliott family when they came to visit the Happy House family yesterday.
Catherine, Simon, Rex and Sophia Elliott, who live in London, are holidaying at Turtle Bay Hotel and they very kindly took time to visit us.
They were impressed by the work being done in  our home and school and were delighted to meet our children. 
We would like to thank them for coming and also to thank them for the gifts of  clothes, dvds, stationery  they brought.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Our baby is one

The youngest member of our big and joyful Happy House family hit one last week
Baby Emmanuel reached his first birthday milestone to much rejoicing from his brothers and sisters at Kidz Club.
Papa Dave had the pleasure of presenting him with his birthday gifts.
Auntie Millicent congratulated the children on keeping theor room neat and tidy.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

A sad past is now behind Mercy

Mercy Peter's life changed the day she was given a free place scholarship in our school.
It gave her the one thing she wanted most - opportunity.
She writes:
In the past I lived in a terrible life
My parents tried their best to give me education but their effort bore no fruit.
Every time I  went to school I was sent back due to not having any school fees.
I had no hope and I knew that I will never achieve my goal.
By good luck I came to do an interview in Hayward’s Happy House and I was given a scholarship. Since that day my education has been so good, I no longer have the problem of being sent home due to school fees and I can no believe that I will achieve my goals.

I had never seen such a school  as this before. It has all the things a pupils needs to help get them through and to pass their exams.  We have computers, smart TV, library, laboratory etc.
Happy House has helped me in every way.. 
Thank you Mama for you support together with everyone who supports our education. 
We must build tow new classrooms on to our secondary school between now and January.
The total cost is £7,000.  We need your help to do this, and we need it today, NOW.
Thanj you.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Community concert boost for appeal

Many thanks to everyone who went along to the monthly Hebden Community Concert  which took place at Cleveleys Workingmen's Club on Wednesday afternoon.
Barbara Hebden, who started the concerts along with her late husband Alan, had arranged for Happy House to benefit from the raffle this month.
Our friend Pauline Royle, who is in Samson's sponsor family, took along the prizes and was happy to tell the gathering what progress has been made at Happy House since our last visit to the concert.
The happy gathering ensured the raffle was well supported and we are grateful to all those who bought and sold tickets, to kitchen staff for donating, to the Barbara for inviting us to be there and to John gave Pauline a helping hand with carrying the prizes and putting up our banner.
£123.11 was raised and will go toward our Classrooms for Kids Appeal to build two new classrooms on our secondary school.
We must have these classrooms finished by January. Please donate at

Friday, 3 November 2017

YOU are family

 Every single person who takes an interest in Happy House, by sponsoring, donating, holding and event, or following the blog matters immensely.
We are the Happy House family, and we like to think of you as members of our family.
Mama Sue believes it's important for the children we help should know about those who help us. She wants them to have a full understanding how, without you, there would not be a Happy House.
She explains to them how hard you work, how generous you are, and how that there is a responsibility on all those who benefit, children and staff, to give their best. To work hard and to do well.
A blog session, led by Mama and Uncle Ronnie, showing the kids some of our recent blogs, reinforced her message and was enjoyed by all.