Wednesday, 28 February 2018

School report: Ready for action

 Some of our school's smallest people will be going to Gede Primary to compete at the ward level in their co-curriculum activities, writes sports teacher, Mr Steve.
This involves activities to test coordination and other developmental skills.
The latest competition follows a visit to Watamu Primary last week when they took on teams from different schools at cluster level.
The children selected to compete at Gede were Happy House home kids Faith Njeri in color and sorting, Lucky Safari in filling and emptying, Baraka Kaingu in football and  Edward Otieno  in color sorting, plus day pupils, Pauline Njeri in football, Aliya Nyanga in sack race, Queen Wanje in football, Brian Kalume in football, Masmo Yongo in line race, Rehema Katana in line race, Everlyne Richard football, Samson Mjimba in football and Dante Hamnest in football.
We are hopeful they will again win through to the next round which will take place later in the month at Watamu Primary when the sub-zonal athletics take place for nursery and primary.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Yorkshire visitors and Lily's birthday

Visitors are always welcome at Happy House, but for Yorkshireman Papa Dave it's always an extra bonus when they come from the White Rose county!
Our new friends Juliette, Phillippa, Lucy and Sara, all from Yorkshire, brought some lovely gifts for our children and enjoyed tour from resident guide, Papa Dave.
He showed them around our home and then took them to see our school and to meet our children.
We are grateful to them for taking time out of their holiday to pop in to see us and for all the things they brought for our family.

Lily's Happy Day

Mama and Papa were very happy to welcome Maurizo and Sofia and friends as guests to Kidz Club last week.
As always, it was a happy occasion with the family all together to talk over the happenings of the week and to share their news.
As it was Lily's birthday, Maurizio was invited to do the honour of handing her birthday gifts.
Happy birthday, Lily!

Monday, 26 February 2018

Players are our stars of the show

Happy House was thrilled to be chosen as one of two charities to benefit from the latest production by Thornton Cleveleys Windmill Players.
And on Saturday, Elizabeth Gomm joined a sold-out audience for the final night of Alan Ayckbourne's Joking Apart.
At the end of the interval she was invited on stage to receive a cheque for £125 from the company's business manager, David Baxter, and also to say a few words about the work of our founder Sue Hayward and our Happy House.
As is the Players tradition, the director of each production gets to choose which charities should benefit.
We are grateful to Colin Johnston, who directed Joking Apart, for selecting Happy House and Blackpool's Grand Theatre Trust as his charities.
We will also be receiving £98 from the sales of beautiful cards and embroidered goods made and sold by Player,  Paul Cunby.
Our thanks to Colin, Paul, and to all the Players for your support. It means so much.
Thanks also to the gentleman in the audience who gave Elizabeth £20 for the charity as she was leaving, which brings the total to £243 - fantastic!

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Myself, by Oscar

Happy House kid Oscar Chengo is taking over the blog today.
Oscar came to Happy House when it opened in 2010 with older brother Evans and sister,Janet. when things got better for their family, they were able to go to live with their aunt and are coming into Happy House school every day.
My name is Oscar. I am a boy and I am 11 years old.
I like playing football.
I am in class six and myclass teacher is called Mr Kelvin, he teaches us maths and science. I like him because he is friendly to everybody.
My best subject is science. 
My best friend is Francis. I like him because he helps me with things I don't understand.
I live with my aunt at home, my brother Evans and my sister also live with my aunt.
My favourite food is chips with chicken.       

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Happy talk

Happy House friends Natasha Wenman and her dad, Russell, who volunteered with our family in 2015 were delighted to give a talk to the Gaddesden Society.
Gaddesen, in Hertfordsire, is where Russell lives and the society hosts talks four times a year on a variety of subjects, often charity related.
Natasha, who has visited the Happy House twice more since they volunteered, her most recent visit this year, said: We put together a presentation all about the Happy House and our trips there.
People seemed very interested and inspired by the stories and the work the Happy House does.
I’m not one for public speaking but when it’s something I feel passionate about once I get started I enjoy talking, also having my Dad there with me and starting off really helped!
Happy House is such an amazing place so a pleasure to talk about and hopefully to get more people supporting the charity.
A local artist also drew a picture for the poster which was lovely and we were given the original copy.
Hopefully it’s the start of doing a few more talks to spread the word about the wonderful Happy House.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Making progress

Brave boy Francis,13,  is doing well on his treatment.
But as Mama explains in today's video, the strength of the antibiotics he is on is taking its toll and making him very tired so she has cut short his school day.
Francis, who is being treated for the serious bone infection osteomyelitis, didn't want to stay at home when the other kids were going to school,  and had been doing full days but Mama Sue thought they were too much and he is, for now, on mornings only.
Mama gives a full update in her video filmed with a smiley Francis at her side.
He really does love his Mama, just like she loves him!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Spreading the love

The lovely ladies of Cleveleys Park Methodist Church gave our UK coordinator Elizabeth Gomm a warm welcome when she was their guest speaker this week.
Some of them, including chairman Elaine Buckley, remember how hard our Mama Sue worked to turn her vision of creating a family home for needy children into a reality, and were delighted to get an update on our work.
Elizabeth (our Auntie Libby) explained how she had become involved with Sue and charity way back in 2007 and how,t since opening Happy House in 2010, our work has grown and developed - just like our kids!
The generous ladies donated a total of £93.
Thank you for being a lovely audience and for your generosity.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

School Report

High school students at Happy House have been put to test as they have been sitting their mid-term examinations.
Meanwhile, primary pupils have been revising for their upcoming exams taking place this week.
We wish the all the very best and hope for some good results.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Get set!

Our kindergarten kids are getting set to take on rivals for neighbouring schools in a variety of sporting activities.
And practice, we hope, makes perfect!
they have been busy practising for each event, which include football and filling bottles with sand.
We wish them luck in the cluster stage of the contest.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Weighing in

There's been a lot of weighing and measuring at Happy House!
The introduction of a new school curriculum requires that every child in kindergarten has both height and weight recorded.
So Uncle Ronnie, our social worker, has been busy making sure that growth charts are in place for each pupil in KG.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

An exciting day, by Rose

After more than five years in the care of our Happy House family, Rose Chai was able to go go home to live with her grandma and extended family in the local community.
She is bright and happy and enjoying school.
Here she tells us about a school trip she went on:
My name is Rose and my best time was when we went for a trip to  Mombasa port and Mombasa airport.
We had a lovely day I learnt a lot of things and saw things I had never seen before.
We were told that we have to work hard to achieve our goals and get good jobs like those at airports and ports.
We had a lovely time seeing the ships and hearing what they do.
When we went to the airport we were told how the planes land and how they take off.
It was an exciting day.  

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Family gathering

 This week's Kidz Club was a time for the family to exchange news of their week.
Mama, Papa, children and staff shared ideas and celebrated achievements.
And it was, as always, a time to sing as everyone joined in for their favourite songs.

Friday, 16 February 2018

All aboard the yellow school bus

 A change in the law means a new livery for our school transport - and a new expense for Happy House.
All school buses have to painted yellow, with the school's name written on in black, along with other safety-enhancing measures.
The new measures come into force at the end of next month, so Mama Sue is keen to ensure that our transport is ahead of the game.
The mini-bus returned from the garage last week and it was all aboard for the ride home!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

News of Francis

Mama and Papa have taken Francis back to Torfiq Hospital in Malindi to get the results of his recent biospy.
And they have confirmed the diagnosis of osteomyelitis..
Mama explains in today's video what treatment he is receiving and how she will be making sure that he has all the extra nutrients in his diet to build him up and to support his immune system to help him cope with medication he has been put on.
Again our tanks go to everyone who has donated to help us pay for the medical care he has and is receiving.
Ut means the world to us all at Happy House.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Love, love, love

All you need is love ...
And at Happy House we prove, with every young life that comes into our care, that love changes everything.
Some of our children have come to us, never having known what it is to be loved, and, at first, the love, respect and kindness we give is hard for them to understand.
But as they learn what it is to be loved and to be cherished, they also learn to love.
Mama Sue has built her Happy House on a foundation of love. She gives it freely and unconditionally to every one of our children. 
And the love you, our friends, have for our youngsters, the way you support our work, help us to provide them with a stable home and a wonderful school, ensures we can continue to change more and more lives.
So today, St Valentine's Day, we cannot send you red roses. But we can say thank you - and we love you too.
*If you would like to share the Happy House love today, please download our picture, and share it with your friends on your social media.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Play's the way

 Visitors to our Happy house will never hear 
"I'm bored" spoken by any of our kids.
They don't know what boredom is.
Their lives have routine activities, just like those of any child in any country around the world, but when they have nothing scheduled to do, they find something!
The older ones may just want to chill out and chat,  read a book,  play a computer game or, more likely,  choose kick a ball, play a skipping game or practice their dance moves.
The little ones play, they have building blocks and other toys to choose from but they also like digging, making sand pies or running around after each other.
For those who can back and watch, they are a joy to behold.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Computer coach Camila

Harnessing the power of technology is always at the forefront at Happy House.
It's not only important to teach our students IT skills, it's equally important that all our teachers are able to use computers to enhance their teaching and administrative skills.
Volunteer Camila Domenge, 26,  is assisting our computer teacher, Mr Omoi, in giving his classes but she is also helping to train teachers to use the spreadsheet software, Microspft Excel.
This will help them in many ways but particular;y when collating examination results.
Camila is spending three months with our family and, in doing so, is achieving a long-held wish.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Baking a cake, by Jacinta

Jacinta enjoys helping in the kitchen at Happy House and specially likes baking, as she tells us here.
It was on Saturday, many months ago, that we were told to go and help in the kitchen as it was a day for a party for mama.
This party was all about mama when she and papa were coming back from visiting England.
I was selected to go and help in the kitchen to bake a cake for her so we went and organize the things for the baking
Things like:
Icing sugar
Blue Band
Hot water
After making the cake mix we took the cake to the oven until it had baked and then we helped to apply the iciing.
Then at the party and they all enjoyed it and they said that those of us who were in the kitchen baked an amazing cake.
Everyone  enjoyed it and I was told that I would be selected for baking a cake another time.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Meeting of minds

There was a meeting of minds when Mama Sue met Esther Stella, the founder and director of another local school. 
Esther founded Bambakofi School, our rival school in the area when it comes to performance, and which supports 200 needy children - 160 of them girls - through primary education and then on to different secondary schools.
Mama and Esther met at a meeting at Medina Palms Hotel and Mama invited her to visit us which she was delighted to do,
After talking with Mama about educational matters and efforts they are making to ensure girls, who so often lose out, have equal opportunities, Esther was given a guided tour of our school by Papa Dave.
 She was really impressed with everything.
 We were glad to welcome her to Happy House and for exchange of ideas. 

Friday, 9 February 2018

Hello new friends and birthday wishes

There was a Happy House welcome for two new friends at Kidz Club this week.
Long-time and loyal Happy House friend, Carol Sohier, brought tow of her pals along to meet our family.
And at Kidz Club, as we all know, there is always lots of singing and laughter.
We were delighted to greet Carol's friends Paula Breed from and her sister Hilary Houze .
Two birthdays were celebrated this week. John who is 16 and Nixon who is now six.
Happy birthday boys. 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Opening day

It's done, dusted and open! 
Our block of four spacious new classrooms is finished and on Monday, Mama Sue cut the ribbon to declare them officially open.
Because the classrooms are bigger than those in our existing secondary school classes have moved there, and the existing rooms will form the much needed study block.
The study rooms, with smart televisions, will be in use throughout the day for timetabled classes for pupils from kindergarten, primary and secondary school.
As students in secondary school have a choice of subjects, they will also provide space for students to be taught in subject groups.
Mama Sue led the opening assembly with a prayer.  She explained to the children how hard you, our supporters,  worked to fundraise or make donations to support our building project and to give them a brighter future with the best education possible.
The building was bedecked with Happy House bunting, made and donated, by our good friend Andrea Manders.
After the opening Mama and Papa greeted each of the secondary pupils as they filed into their classrooms to start the new week.
Our heartfelt thanks go to each and every one who made a donation to make this building possible. To those who gave money, supported fundraising efforts, and to the local businesses who donated quantities of materials.
Together we are changing lives.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Operation clean-up

It was operation clean-up at Happy House School on Saturday.
Our secondary school students pitched in to help get their new classrooms ready to move into.They were ensuring that the whole area, with finishing touches now completed, was spick and span and ready to move into after the official opening which took place on Monday.
They all have a great pride in their school and its environment and worked hard to get the classroom floors washed and to put furniture in place so it would look perfect for the start of the new week.

There will be a report of the opening and video on the blog tomorrow.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

More about Francis

Your good wishes, your love and your support for Francis is overwhelming.
Today Mama Sue brings you an update on our brave boy who is soldiering on and getting on with life despite a leg brace and crutches.
He even insisted on walking  the short distance to school with his friends

Monday, 5 February 2018

On the up!

A number of children are performing so well in lessons and exams that they have been moved up a class.
Each of the top performers sat an exam tailored to the criteria of entry to next class to ensure they were ready to move up.
They performed brilliantly, and to celebrate their success a special assembly was held.
Mama Sue, Papa Dave and Uncle Ronnie were there to congratulate each pupil on their performance and there was applause from their fellow students - with Mama and Papa doing the cheerleading.
Mama presented each child with a small gift to mark their success,
Teachers welcomed those flying up into their classes and in no time they had moved desks ready for the start of the new school week.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

My life at home, by Jane

Today's blog is by Jane who, along with her younger sister Zawadi, lived in our family for a numbers of years.
They have now been successfully repatriated to their grandmother and auntie in the community.
The are enjoying their new life, but were  also enjoyed returning to Happy House for or  festive holiday week when they had a chance to catch up with their old friends and to make new ones.
Jane writes:
My name is Jane I come from Msabaha.
I stay with my grandmother she loves us very much.
I am in class seven and next year I am going into class eight.
I love my teachers they teach us well.
When I come in from schoo, I f go to fetch some water then I  help cook cook food and do my homework.
On Sunday, we go to church.
We are going well at home and it is near to ourschool.
I have my sister is called and we are the same class .

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Tanks see Happy House through crisis

Happy House fared well during a major water crisis which  caused major Mombasa and Kilifi County.
 On January 19, the Kenya Power cut electricity supply at Baricho Water Works in Kilifi County after the Coast Water Services Board (CWSB) failed to clear a bill of Sh60 million.
As a result, about 1.5 million Mombasa and Kilifi County residents, as well as hotels, hospitals, schools and factories have been hit by water shortage. 
 Fortunately at Happy House the effect was minimal as we had enough water stored in  our tanks and salt water from the boreholes really helped doing washing, bathing, flushing toilets and general cleaning.
Fresh water was conserved for cooking and drinking only to preserve our stocks.
The biggest drawback was the laundry.
Unable to use the washing machines, which require fresh water, our aunties did all the washing (and we have piles every day!) by hand, with the kids helping at the weekend. Thankfully, the county government of Kilifi stepped in this week to settle the bill and has said it would put mechanisms in place to ensure it would not happen again.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Birthday and songs

 There was a happy time at Kidz Club this week when all the family were together to talk over the events of the week.
Mama Sue says there was lots of singing too, with a competition  of voices - boys against girls.
And, she reports, girl power prevailed with the girls taking the top spot.
There was one birthday to celebrate, for Edward.
Papa Dave presented him with his birthday bag of gifts and all the family sang greetings to him for his big day.