Monday, 31 December 2018

Singalong at Happy house

Our kids love a singalong and if you just happen to be visiting you can be lucky enough to join in.
Guests Dario Diomedi and Sabrina Mazzone and their daughters Flaminia and Greta had a great time joining in some family fun  at a Christmas Day kidz club.
It was also when Abdulmalik  received his birthday gift - he turned five on December 27.
Happy birthday little boy.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

My holiday by Baraka

Now repatriated to his family after being in the care of Happy House, Baraka Mkutano has been back to stay for a holiday.
Baraka asked Mama Sue and Papa Dave if he could come to visit in the school holidays and, of course, they said yes.
He's had a wonderful time catching up with his friends and helping around the house as he tells us in this video.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Computer suite taking shape

 With Happy House School  getting ready for the new academic year starting in January, work is on target to have our new computer suite finished.
In this video update, made on Christmas Eve, Mama Sue brings us up to date with the progress.
Grilles have now gone in on the windows, which will help ensure security, and with her usual attention to design detail Mama has had them painted white to ensure they look as nice as possible.
Carlos, our builder, has now been contracted to put in the ceiling, work which was to be done by our own joiner Charo, but Mama explains that he and his assistant have more than enough work on making the furniture that is needed - some of which are pictured being the the storeroom ready to be moved in was soon as the building is complete.
Charo has a willing team of eager volunteers in our kids to transport them from A to B!

Friday, 28 December 2018

Karibuni Happy House

Italian visitors Dario Diomedi and Sabrina Mazzone and their daughters Flaminia and Greta were given a rousing welcome when they made their first visit to  Happy House on Christmas Day.
The family were excited and delighted to seeing the Happy House and to meet their sponsor child, Joshua.

At a welcome gathering their was a sing-off between our girls and our boys and they had the difficult task of picking a winner.
 Dario and family brought with them many beautiful items of clothing and necessities which will be kept in our storeroom to be used as and when they are needed.

We thank Dario, Sabrina, Flaminia and Greta for being with us and for all the things they have brought with them. Thank you also to their friends and relatives who donated items to their Happy  House collection.
Dario and family are also featured on this video. Please click on the link to watch:

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Guests for Christmas

There was an international flavour to Christmas at the Happy House was we welcomed guests from across the world.
And our Happy House kids  soon learnt a new dance from Italian visitors Dario Diomedi and Sabrina Mazzone and their daughters Flaminia and Greta.
The family from Rome, delighted to meet their sponsor child Joshua,   joined in the Christmas Day party with lots of singing and dancing from our kids.
When they got up to demonstrate the macarena our youngsters soon joined in to give a go and followed the actions of our guests from Rome.
Our family was also joined by Chris Ackroyd from London and Moza Hammad ,a paediatrician, from Dubai who were thrilled to meet everyone and to see the high standard of care at the Happy House as they mention in their video:
Mama Sue and Papa Dave were delighted to welcome visitors on this special day.
The children had double treats to eat - hotdogs and ice-cream!
There were sweets brought by our guests as an added extra
More video of Dario and family at Happy House on tomorrow's blog.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Our Christmas blessings

For Happy House kid Diana  Christmas Day,  was spent with with Mama Sue, Papa Dave and the other children in their care.
Mama Sue and Papa Dave have given her and her brothers, John and Daudi, and all our kids, the security and love of a family.
For Diana this means the world.
Mama Sue is the person she knows she can turn to and is her best friend.
Mama, she tells us in this video," has the key to my heart."
Sue had no idea what Diana was going to say when she was asked to take part in the video, and is visibly moved to hear the words of love spoken by the youngster.
Mama Sue and Papa Dave may feel they are blessed to be so loved, but is they who are the true blessing for the children for whom they have created a safe and loving home.
There was no turkey or Christmas pud for Sue and Dave, instead they enjoyed sausages and ice-cream with the kids. 
In the past eight years they have done so much transform so many young lives.
On Christmas Day and every day they will continue to work tirelessly for the disadvantaged children of the Watamu area.
Together they share the highs and the lows of being the cornerstones of the Happy House home and school. 
It is difficult and demanding.
Sue and Dave are driven by their for the children and for each other.  
They inspire those of us who support them and we are humbled by their selfless dedication.
So, from all of us, thank you Mama Sue and Papa Dave. we wish you the happiest, healthiest, year to come, May bring you all that you would wish for yourselves and your Happy House family. 

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

A family Christmas

Christmas is all about family.
In a special video Mama Sue talks about the important role Happy House is playing in mending broken families.
She tells of how children who have lived in our care, some for several years, find their place in their own family and community after being restored to the care of a parent or relative.
The repatriation process begins with short home visits, gradually extended over time, to test the ground and to make the transition as from Happy House to home as smooth as possible.
Mama says she is expecting that many of the youngsters who left on home visits when the school holidays began in October, will remain there.  
Uncle Ronnie, our social worker, makes regular checks and  it seems that the kids are settled and happy and wanting to stay and that the relative caring for them is able to support them and look after them.
If all is well then that is where a child should remain.
It is heart-wrenching for Mama and Papa to see a child  leave. Each child who comes into our care is a child comes at a time of great need. Mama and Papa, with love a nurture, put laughter into their lives see them grow from unhappy little beings to confident, healthy, happy youngsters.
They look upon them as their own so to see them tugs on their hearts but they have always put the interests of each individual child ahead of their personal feelings.
In our Christmas video Mama  thanks all those of you who have made our family a part of your own family - by sponsoring, fundraising or supporting what we do.
Today, she and papa will be spending Christmas with their kids at the Happy House, tucking into sausages followed by ice-cream. They will have fun in the sun.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.    

Monday, 24 December 2018

Oh Christmas Tree

Today, Christmas Eve, you'll probably be rushing around on last minute errands getting ready for the big day tomorrow.
So we thought a song from our children would get you in the festive mood.
Please give our family at thought this Christmas.  
Those kids at home with Mama Sue and Papa Dave are those for whom a home visit to a relative is not possible.
For some, our Happy House foundlings, there are no known relatives and we are their family.
Please enjoy their rendition of Oh Christmas Tree and have a happy day.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Our Christmas, by Brian

Christmas celebrations were held early at Happy House to ensure children now living back in the local community, would be able to come.
It also means as many of our staff as possible will be able to spend Christmas day with their own families.
Brian Isiaho today tells us about the festivities which he and the kids rally enjoyed.
On Christmas Day, Mama and Papa will join them and the children will have sausages to eat - a real treat!
 They will be followed by another treat, ice cream, bought from money donated by Brenda and Red Groves while they were staying, and who also bought ice-cream for the early Christmas celebrations.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Desks a work in progress

Papa Dave is in the joinery workshop with joiner Uncle Charo and his assistant, Isaac, in today's video.
They are making desks for the new computer suite at our school, one for each of the 30 new computers.
With 20 done they are almost there, but are also making desks for other areas of our schools.
Everything will be in place for when the new term, and the new academic year, starts in January, as Papa tells us.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Birthday joy

 There was birthday joy for David who was centre of attention at Kidz Club when he received his gift from Mama Sue.
David was thrilled with his new toy.
When Mama asked him if he'd like to sing a song he was happy to do the honours leading the family a few verses of "We're happy to share".
David, who is turning eight, was not the only birthday child. 
 Diana Wera is 12 this week and she also received a gift an greetings with lots of love from all our family.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Computer suite update

In today's update on the new computer suite being constructed at Happy House school, Mama Sue, brings us up to speed with latest developments.
The electrics are now in place, with a port for each each desk and the galana stone floor is laid.
Mama Sue  explains how a ceiling is still to be installed, plus metal grilles and glazing in the windows.
Desks are now being made by our joiner Uncle Charo in his workshop and Mama has one with her to show us.
This suite will be such a huge asset to our school and to the education of our children and we are just so grateful to Mark and Amanda Barron for making it happen.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

David is Mama's pride and joy

Our junior David Hayward is eight this week.
Named after our own Papa Dave, he is a champion child who has overcome one obstacle after another since he was abandoned in hospital by his mother when he was only a few days old.
Happy House supported him while he was in hospital and we were delighted when he was well enough to come home to join our family.
Concerned that he was not progressing as a baby should, Mama Sue took him to one doctor after another and when he was 11 months she took him to a specialist centre in Kilifi where she was told he would not amount to anything and to "take him home and love him".
We did much more than give him love, sought expert advice, put a programme of  three -times daily exercises into practice, and our whole family, kids and adults, encourage him to take part in everything we do. 
We ensure David has any additional help he needs in school and at home and time and time again he rewards our efforts with his courage and his smiles and his results.
He keeps up with the other kids, wins hearts of all who meet him, but he does struggle with his speech.
We would be thrilled to find a  speech therapist who could give us some guidance on how to help him more.
In this eighth birthday video Mama Sue tells you a bit more about her little David, who is both her pride and her joy.
Please share this video with  your friends and family, we need more sponsors for our kids, more funds to ensure we can continue to transform more lives and bring out the best in every child.
 For information on how to sponsor or to donate go to

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

It takes boy power!

 The great thing about having plenty of strong boys about is that there are always will hands to help with any heavy task.
And with new desks made  ready for the new school years which starts next month, an army of youngsters got to work transporting them from the joinery workshop at Happy House down the lane to school.
Evans was team leader and as he tells us it was an activity that they all enjoyed.
Our joiner Uncle Charo is now busy making more desks ready for the computer suite which is under construction.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Time to go home

All good things must come to an end, and for Brenda and Red Groves and their granddaughter, Grace Dunbar, it's with sadness that they leave Watamu to go back home to the UK.
They are leaving behind their friends, Mama Sue and Papa Dave, and all the extended family they are such a part of, the Happy House family.
They bring so much to our family, in sponsorship, in the lovely gifts they bring, but, most importantly, in the love they have for Happy House.
They are our loved and valued friends. Mama, Papa and the kids will miss them but as Mama says only by leaving can you return
.We wish them a safe journey home, a happy reunion with their own family and lovely Christmas.


Sunday, 16 December 2018

Hot dogs anyone?

 When Mama asks our Happy House kids if they'd like hotdogs for lunch, every hand goes up!
They are a real treat and while many of the children are on visits to relatives in the community, special treats are important to those kids left behind.
So with fresh baked bread rolls, delicious sausages and onions, made just the way Papa's mother used to make them, the family tucked and enjoyed every mouthful.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Christmas races

 After a lovely Christmas lunch of chicken pilau followed by Christmas cake,  our kids were still able to get out on the sports field for some fun and games.
The Happy House family loves a bit of competitive sport so what better than a few races and  a tug of war!
An egg and spoon race, sack race, running races  provided lots of laughs and then there were two tug of war contests - small girls v small boys when the girls won, and big boys v uncles when the boy were victorious.
It was all good spirited and  winners or losers, everyone was happy!

Friday, 14 December 2018

Aunties and uncles entertain

Our uncles and aunties put their best feet forward to put on a Christmas show for the kids at Happy House.
In this video you can see the aunties strut their stuff on the catwalk, with some nifty moves added in!
Click on this link to watch the Uncles get up and dance!
The kids were asked to vote for the winners and the result was a resounding win for our Aunties.
Well done to everyone for making it such fun and for being such a great team.
Click on this link to watch the Uncles get up and dance!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Here comes Santa

It was jingle bells all the way as Santa arrived at Happy House yesterday.
Making our children's home his first port of call as he prepares to deliver to kids across the world, our children gathered excitedly to wait for him to make his entrance.
And when the arrived they were all keen to greet him and his elf escort as they made their way from the gates and to the banda.
Santa didn't disappoint bringing with him with sacks full of goodies - a bag for each child.
Helped by Uncle Ronnie he handed each child their present.
Our early Christmas day was full of fun and games, with apple bobbing, races and entertainment by the staff - with the uncles and aunties battling it out to see who good give the best performance!
And no Christmas is complete without a delicious meal. Our family and friend tucked into chicken pilau as requested by the children and chocolate cake.
Mama, Papa and the family were thrilled to be joined by friends - Red and Brenda Groves and their granddaughter Grace , and Jo an Peter Reid (in two guises!)
Mama thanked everyone for making it such a special day, and praised the staff for the show they put on and thanked Auntie Phillis and her helpers in the kitchen for the delicious food..
Red thanked Mama and Papa for inviting them to be a part of the festive celebration.
It was a splendid day,  making happy memories for our kids who have been through so much trauma in their lives.
Click on this link for a second video. There will be more tomorrow.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Christmas is coming!

The  Happy House is all trimmed up for Christmas!
And today is the day that Santa arrives to distribute gifts to our children.
As is our tradition, we hold our Christmas activities early so that our staff an join in and, except for those who will be on duty, can spend the 25th with with their own families.
Happy House kids, home with families but who live locally, will be coming in for a day of fun, food and games.
The tree and decorations went up on Monday as Baraka tells us on this video

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Hello Jo and Pete

 A kids chorus singing welcome left Joanne and Peter Reid in no doubt of how pleased we are to see them back again at  Happy House.
Peter and Joanne came laden with gifts of many beautiful and useful items for our family.
They unpacked in mama's office where Auntie Velma laid everything out 
before cataloguing it so that it can be safely kept in our store room until it is needed.
Many thanks to Jo and Pete's friends in Lancashire and to colleagues - Jo works as theatre coordinator at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital - for their gifts and to those who gave donations to Peter's Happy House fundraising page. 

Monday, 10 December 2018

Three special friends

Brenda and Red Grove have been great. friends to our charity since the Happy House children's home was still a dream for our founder, Sue Hayward.
They were there when the first spade went into laying the foundations and they have returned year after year.
This year they have brought with them their graddaughter, Grace Dunbar, who volunteered at Happy House between school and university.
They also bring lots of wonderful and essential items for our family, collected over the year by themselves, their family and their friends. Thank you all.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Baker boys

Our kids are always eager to learn new skills.
They also enjoy helping around their home.
And for both boys and girls baking is a favourite activity,
In today's video Baraka and John, two of our older boys, are busy in the outside kitchen preparing bread rolls.
Having had lots of experience it's a task they now take in their stride.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Coral comes free

Our wonderful new computer suite under construction Happy House School is getter better by the day!
The outside of the building has been faced with coral which gives it a beautiful finish.
In this latest update, Mama Sue explains how the coral comes free. 
It was dug out of the ground while making a new soak pit for the extended toilets at school.
So to add it as a finish on the computer suite came cheaply, with on the costs of labour and cement to meet.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Trip to the beach

 Last week while all the family was together our Happy House kids enjoyed a trip to the beach.
They set off early in the morning, before it got too hot, for the walk to the beach enjoying the sights and sounds on the way.
Once at the beach it was fun and games all the way on the sands and in the sea, until it was time to go back home for showers before lunch.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

N-ice one!

There was a treat of ice-cream all round for the 40 children in our Happy House family who are unable to go on home visits to relatives.
While children who do have a relative in a position to care them for a home visit are now back staying in the community,  Mama Sue and Papa Dave try to make it a special time for those left at home.
So first up was ice-cream.
It's expensive and  not always easy to get, but Papa worked his magic and found enough for everyone - including out two cats!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Home visits for some, but not for all

Saumu and Rose with their grandma
Baraka, Amani and Alex with their uncle
 As some of our kids f leave to go on home visits to relatives now in a position to taken them, others remain in our loving care.
They are the foundlings, or those who have no-one in their family who could take them even for an overnight visit.
In today's video, Mama talks about those stay at home kids and why sponsors are extra special to them.
Meanwhile,  for those back in the community staying in the homes of close family members, it is an exciting time.
And Mama and her  team do all they can to make sure that those who can go to stay with with a family member in the school holidays do so.
These visits are carefully planned and monitored by our social worker Uncle Ronald, who maintains regular contact with relatives all year round.
They are a step toward a child being able to go back into the community on a long term basis if both the child and their family members are happy with the arrangement and can support the child.
A number of our kids have left for month-long home visits, instead of the previous weeklong trips.
Husna and Hussein with grandma
Uncle Ronald says: "This is because of the long school holiday. It is good time for us to assess how well they can manage. 
"We are required to have an exit plan for each child in our care and this is a part of it, we work on mending broken families where possible. 
"We are glad to have success stories. Most of the kids we have repatriated have fully settled with their relatives. 
"Sometimes things don’t work and we have to bring the children back at the Happy House but this cannot stop us from trying again when we feel it is right to do so..We hope that "We hope that with these kids who have left us for home visits, that most will be happy staying on with their relatives after the end of the holiday. 
This will be a step ahead on our exit plans of these kids."

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Tables test

 The school holidays are a good time for or children at Happy House to brush up on their tables.
Multiplication tables, once learnt, stay with you forever and stand you in good stead throughout your life.
Mama and Papa are very keen that all our children should know their tables and so they have both been taking groups of youngsters for some tables tests.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Roof goes on

At Happy House, we tell our children to reach for the skies.
That with hard work and focus their dreams can come true.
And they could have no better role model than their Mama Sue whose dedication, vision and sheer hard work has given them the Happy House - both the children's home and the school.
It is these qualities in Mama that other people recognise and brings their enduring and much-needed support to our charity,
Amanda and Mark Barron's support is ensuring our kids get the best start in computer learning by sponsoring the building of our new computer suite at school.
And right now, we are touching the skies as the roof goes on the building!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Mama's pride and joy

You may remember a recent Kidz Club video when, listening to the older kids singing,  moved Mama to tears.
Today, she is joined by the youngsters as explains just why she was so emotional that day.
Watching them, so confident and so happy, had taken her back to a very different time when they joined our family as frightened and unsure little beings.
But Happy House harnesses the force of love to turn lives around, it has built strengths and skills and now those small kids are young people facing the future with optimism and hope - and are thankful to their Mama for putting them on the path to success.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Happiness is being at Happy House

Our fantastic friends, Brenda and Red Groves and their granddaughter Grace Dunbar are just thrilled to be back at the Happy House.
They have been friends so long they fit seamlessly into our family.
It's a year since Brenda and Red, from Wantage, were last at Happy House and so Mama laid on a very special welcome for them - and for Grace who volunteered with our family in 2015.
We are delighted to see Uncle Red, Auntie Brenda and Grace again and to know they will be here for our festive funtime later this month,

Friday, 30 November 2018

Computers arrive

What excitement there was at Happy House when a delivery of 30 new computers arrived  ready to be installed in computer suite now being constructed at our school.
They are being stored securely until the building is completed and they can be put in place.
We are hugely indebted to Amanda and Mark Barron for their belief in the work being done at Happy House by Mama Sue and Papa Dave and for their investment in the future of our children.
We know that it will bring dividends when our computer- literate kids finish their education at Happy House are ready to go out into the world of further education or into the workplace.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Give the gift of love

In today's video, Mama Sue appeals to you to make one of her children a part of your family.
At Happy House children's home we have six youngsters who have no known family of their own. 
They are our Happy House Haywards,
Harry, Brian, David, Esther, Elizabeth Anne and Emmanuel take Hayward as their surname as Mama Sue and Papa Dave are the only Mama and Papa they will ever know.
So building families of sponsors for these children is so important.
Every sponsor is special and adds something new and different to their lives - just as relatives do in every family.
No two aunties, grandads, cousins etc are the same. 
So Mama is asking if, this Christmas, you will consider the gift of sponsorship to one of your friends or relative - and add a little Hayward to their lives.
To find out more please email:

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Researchers visit

 Mama and Papa and the Happy House family were delighted to welcome four researchers from Italy and Poland.
 They are in Kenya doing research on socio-cultural issues affecting people and communities,
 They are attached to Pwani University in Kilifi and when they requested to visit a children’s home , they were referred to Happy House.
They wanted to know about the history of Happy House, how we normally admit children, exit plans of the children, type of cases we have at the home, cultural practices of the people surrounding us that lead to their having children in an institution like ours.
 In short they wanted to know what we do here at home and for the entire community.
Papa took them around the home and school and they were really impressed with our work.
They gave our kids some toys and school materials and promised to send more when they get back to their home countries.
Dr. Aleksandra Lukaszewicz (wearing striped dress) is main coordinator at Academy of Art in Szezeein/Poland and Professor Flavia Stara of University of Macerata/Italy were two of our guests.