Saturday, 30 June 2018

Meet the Family Uncle Charo

There's been some hammering in the background of some of our videos this week, but the whole idea is to give you a glimpse of Happy House as it really is - hammers and all!
We can't stop people from working to make a video, so we do hope a little bit of noise won't stop your enjoyment.
Today, you meet the man who wields the hammer, Uncle Charo, our excellent joiner.
He's a craftsman who insists every job is done to top specifications.
He uses locally sourced materials and fashions them into whatever is need from window frames to school desks and chairs,
This week he's been installing ceilings in the girls bedrooms in an additional effort to keep insects at bay.
In our video he is introduced by Uncle Ronald.
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Friday, 29 June 2018

Meet the family: Lovely Lily

Our lovely Lily is our guest on the blog the today!
She joined the Happy House in 2010 with her older brother Samson and younger sister Pendo.  
They were living in poverty with their grandmum, who was unable to cope with the demands of three small children.
Their mum, recently widowed, was too poorly to look after them and the family breadwinner was no longer there.
Since then they have, with our love and help,  been reunited with their mum and were repatriated for a while.
For now they are back at Happy House and thriving, they remain in contact and are able to go on home visits. 
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Thank you Devonshire School

Elizabeth Gomm. our UK coordinator and Auntie Libz to the Happy House, was delighted to be back at Devonshire School, Blackpool, this week.
She had been invited to do an assembly, always a joy, to tell the children the news of their sponsor child Brian
The school has sponsored Brian since he came our family as a tiny baby and successive generations of children at the school are growing up knowing him as if he were one of them
The children, even the smallest, listened intently and it was so quiet you could almost hear a pin drop!
They are holding a fundraising day to day  for Happy House and being reminded about Brian has given them added enthusiasm
Thank you to Mrs Liz Heaney , our link with the school, and to all the children and staff for making Auntie Libz so welcome and for your continued love and support for Brian.
Mrs Heaney is pictured with the headboy and headgirl and Lily who tried on a traditional  Kenyan kanga and jewellery.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Meet the family: Uncle Ronald

Uncle Ronald is a familiar name to all those friends who sponsor a Happy House kid.
He is our social worker, much loved by our children.
He is responsible for overseeing their general welfare, liasing with Children's Services and other professionals,  staying in touch with relatives of children and those kids repatriated into families, sourcing birth certificates (which can be a real problem!) and countless othe matters that arise withs ucha  large family.
Importantly, he ensures our children really know those who sponsor them.
Uncle Ronnie goes through every letter or email sent by a sponsor with the child concerned and explains anything they may not understand.
He takes the pictures and sends the replies, written with the child.
Ronnie is  efficientn compassionate and enthusiastic - all the right ingredients for a social worker.  On today's video you can et to know him a little better.
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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Meet the family: Auntie Rose

Today we introduce you to  Mama Sue's right hand woman, Auntie Rose,  administrator at Happy House .
Rose was just a young girl when she met Mama who was then embarking on her charity work in the Watamu area of Kenya in 2000.
Mama's encouragement helped Rose to develop her career and when Mama opened her Happy House eight years ago Rose started work there.
Since then, with Mama's guidance,  she has has continued to blossom into a highly skilled, driven and efficient administrator.
She is also a much loved member of the Happy house family.  
In a world where women can still get a raw deal in the jobs market, Mama and  Auntie Rose are showing girls it shouldn't be that way.  That if they have the skill, the talent, and the desire they can succeed in any field they choose.
Auntie Rose, now married with two young daughters, is an excellent role model for girls growing up in our family.
Auntie Rose has Mama to thank for seeing her potential and for helping her to realise it.  They are much more than employee and boss - they are friends, true and trusted, always.
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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Meet the family: A new series

Today we are introducing an exciting new series of videos, bringing the Happy House to YOU!
Over the coming days you will meet the people you receive emails from and read about on the blog.
They will come to life as they tell you a little about themselves.
Our aim to bring members of our family, those who are in Kenya and those who support us all around the world, closer together.
First up an introduction from our inspirational  Mama Sue, who founded our charity and who with her beloved husband, Papa Dave, devotes her life to running it.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Skin problems come with the rains

With the rains come the insects and the parasites and this year they have been more of a  problem than ever.
Mama Sue writes:
Today myself, Papa, Aunty Millicent and Musyoka, took Lucky, Sudi, Abu and Fatuma back to the dermatologist in Malindi.
 All the children have had ongoing skin problems, now, thankfully, well and truly on the mend.
One of the conditions was contagious, even just shaking hands can spread it from one to another.
Lots of children at school have also had this painful condition. 
But with vigilance, the right treatment, and care all are on the mend.
Keeping the infestations and invaders out is an ongoing process.
We have tried many different methods in the bedrooms of controlling the insects, the one we have found most effective is a chemical called Gladiator. It is made into a solution with water, the floors are then sprayed as are the corners of the walls and windows. 
The doors and windows are closed for one hour, the rooms then well ventilated before bedtime.
In the girls bedrooms they are  open up to the makuti
 We are now having to put ceilings in every room and in the bathroom as we  to control the influx of insects,
 It is costing £1,100 but is worth every shilling to protect our children, from disease and infections.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Hello from Mwende

 I hope you are doing well.
My name is Mwende. I live at Hapy house with my Mama and Papa.
I am in class four. I like learning, specially maths, English and Kswahili.
When I grow up I would like to be a teacher and to teach pupils well.
I have two brothers, Musyoka and Francis. They are older than me.
We all live at Happy House.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

The magic of science

Our laboratory, provided by Blackpool Soroptimist International through their Christine Walker fund, is playing a vital part in our school.
Practical work there is getting our students, from primary upwards, excited about science.
Our school principal, Mr Laurent, said: Being one of a kind in the entire county, and perhaps beyond, the laboratory allows advanced learning to be brought to our classes for the benefit of the child. 
Consequently, the kids can prove their mastery of the learned content as depicted at a recent open day by Secondary students Douglas Tumaini and Yaa Mtawali doing Titration, Stephen Katana and Rashid Omondi tackling Acids and Bases, Dorris Bendera with Paper Chromatography and Gabriel Mwarabu doing Linear Motion.
We are deeply grateful to Blackpool Soroptimists for investing in the future of our our young people, you gift to them is priceless.
Thank you.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Poultry plus

A brood of 10 young cockerels has joined our family.
Papa Dave and Auntie Rose went to the Water Board Office in Malindi to ask if we could have a lower tariff on the mains water with us being a children’s home, writes Mama Sue.
They met a very nice man called Kenneth who was extremely helpful. 
Our water bill should now, thankfully, go down by two thirds.
During their visit Kenneth kindly asked them if they would like some chickens, of course the answer was YES!
So the next day Papa and I went to meet Kenneth and his family at their  home in Malindi, they were kind enough to give us 10 young cockerels. 
We already had a small chicken house that the Secondary School students had build as part of a project, so now the new family members are wandering around having a look at their new home.
Harry and Baraka were amongst the first kids to go to see them

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Welcome Auntie Gussy

Volunteer Gussy Bunbury, Auntie Gussy to our kids, was the special guest at Kidz Club this week.
They sang her the welcome song to let her know how pleased they are to see her again.
Auntie Millicent
A regular volunteer, Auntie Gussy is a great help in our school and has helped us in our efforts to provide the highest level of  inclusive education to children of all ages, all backgrounds.
Auntie Gussy was asked to judge the singing competition between the boys and the girls.
Though the boys really tried their best but the girls team was crowned as winners with their wonderful voices. Auntie Millicent was  congratulated for her hard work in making sure kids are happy and doing what is right at home.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Shaping bright minds

Secondary student, Margaret, has been awarded a place on our Happy House  Board of Academic Fame.
The award comes following an essay she wrote on the topic Personality Matters More than Beauty.
Here is an excerpt:
.Let’s be real. I have a natural figure, average curves and thin legs.
Who cares? Why should the world set an image of an ideal body type for people? 
Plastic surgery? I am all for it. But I don’t believe anyone needs it. For medical reasons, it is necessary
 Ladies and gentlemen, wrinkles are a sign of aging and your body size or type should not determine your happiness…..’
Personality matters more because, in years to come, our bodies will change physically. But what is inside stays the same. 
Your outlook on life, your heart, and your morals as a human being will still be there…It’s life.
You should never feel like you are less beautiful.
This article forms the basis of the conversations that continues through Life Skills lessons and debates among Happy House kids.
Its depth makes Margaret, who is in Form 2, feature unrivalled on our Academic Board of Fame this week.
We say thank you, to all those who  sponsor or support the Happy House, for your contribution toward helping to mould sparkling minds. Your contribution is not in vain.
Mr. Laurent
School Principal

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Growing interest

Our high school agricultural students are delighted to see their greenhouse flourishing with GREEN!
Under the guidance of agriculture teacher, Md Caroline, they have put text book theory into practice in their own school greenhouse at Happy House,
The Form Two students whose syllabus covers Crop Production based on soil fertility, seedbed preparation, etc, have established a variety of vegetables.
Spinach is the main vegetable they have raised but they are also growing tomatoes, and kale.
 They have  learnt that vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals thus acting as protective foods; have pleasant smell which makes food appetising and they  keep the body healthy and help in fighting diseases
Lack of vitamins A, B and C present mainly in vegetables may lead to diseases like night blindness, scurvy and beriberi.
The minerals provided calcium, iron and phosphorus, which are at the highest nutritive value when vegetables are consumed   mature and fresh. 
Understanding the benefit of eating vegetables has made the students even more excited about growing - and eating- them!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Raffle bonus

A successful psychic night netted £55 for Happy House.
Lisa Snowden and Debbie Clay of the Four Seasons Eaterie at Four Seasons Fisheries in Staining, near Blackpool, hosted the evening on Saturday and were generous in letting Elizabeth Gomm organise a raffle for our family.
There was a full house for the evening with guest mediums Shirley Wakefield and Colin Greenough and we were grateful to all those who bought raffle tickets,
Special thanks to Lisa and Debbie.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

My hobby, by Baraka

My name is Baraka Francis.
I Am eleven years old..
I learn In Happy House School where I am in Standard Four..
A hobby an activity you like to do in your free time.
My hobby Is drawing.
I Like drawing so much, I like drawing pictures.
My brother likes drawing too.
I draw every day and when I have finished I put the pictures on my bedroom wall.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Every little helps

Friends and neighbours Harry, eight, and Harrison, 11, raised £10 from a plant stall.
The boys live in Poulton, Lancashire, close to Andrea Manders who sponsors Happy House kids Priscilla and Natasha and scholarship student  Ann.
Andrea visited Happy House last year and that's how the boys got to know about it.
They sold lots and lots of mint cuttings and raised a brilliant £10..
Thank you boys, you are real stars,

Friday, 15 June 2018

Quiz time

It was quiz time when Happy House hosted an inter-schools challenge against Rainbow School.
It was a challenging time, with questions from the primary school subjects maths, English, Kiswahili, social studies and CRE  (Christian Religious Education).
Each school entered 10 contestants and were asked question in turn.
After a hard-fought competition, Happy House triumphed with 310 marks to Rainbow's 163.
Well done to both teams.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Five times a birthday!

We had five birthdays to celebrate this week at Kidz Club and five very excited children!
Franchesco Kaingu was the first up to receive his gift, he is five this week. then came twins Baraka and Amani Kea who are seven, Priscilla Ponda, the eldest of the biirthdya children, who is 11 and Baraka Kaingu  who is turning eight.
They enjoyed being in the limelight and each was greeted with the birthday song and cheers.
There was also congratulations to theKG kids who are being so successful in the inter-schools series of music festivals and doing Happy House proud.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Rewarding hard work

Our High School students and their teachers were welcomed to Happy House Home for a treat. 
this was to recognise the huge efforts they had put into helping to market the high school to local parents who may be looking for a school for their kids to move on to in January.
With the help of the teachers, the students created leaflets on what we do which were distributed locally.. 
We had three parents meetings in just one week and after a brief talk the parents had a guided tour to the various stations where students learn. This included the science laboratory, Smart TV rooms, computer room, music room, library and the classrooms as well.
After all this hard work Mama thought it would be nice if she welcome the high school students and their teachers into Happy House home  to appreciate their effort and cooperation in making all the plans possible.
 All the students and teachers were been given new school T-shirts with logos on the back; “Happy House Secondary School” for the students and “Happy House Secondary School- Staff” for the teachers.
 Mama told the students tehy could wear the t-shirts and trousers throughout the week instead of the PE shorts. 
They are all grown up now and with trousers they will look different from the primary school kids. 
The idea was well received and the girls too were excited that they could also wear trousers and were measured their new uniform.
Everybody was really pleased and left wearing the yellow T-shirts and looking smart.
There was also some fruit salad made special for them, everybody enjoyed.
Many thanks to Mama and Aunty Libby for the new uniforms and the fruit salad respectively.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Board of Fame

The perimeter of a triangle is 22 cm. If one of the sides is 9 cm, find the other sides if the area of the triangle is 20.976 cm2.  writes Mr Laurent, school principal.
This question looked harmless to the Happy House Mathematics Club to begin with, but as they grappled to find the answers  the two dimensions required became elusive.
There ws just one student, Micheal Kombe, from Form 2 secondary, who managed to find the correct solution.
Michael is a maths whizz  who earned a place on the school’s Academic Board of Fame
The board will display pieces of work that exhibit originality and creativity, artistic and scientific minds at play, ranging from essay writings in science, solving of complex mathematical problems, writing literary works like poems, compositions, short stories, among others. 
As a school we say thank to Mama Sue for enabling this special Academic Board of Fame. With the passing of time and when nurtured talents will have matured, Mama’s dream of Happy Education for a Bright Future will be accomplished.

Monday, 11 June 2018

KG triumph

 Our Kindergarten kids have done the Hapy House proud by winning their way through to Sub County Levels in the inter-schools Music Festival.
The competition will take place at Chumani and our children will be taking part in English Choral Verse, Swahili Choral Verse and English Solo Poem.
We are excited and delighted for all those taking part, they have worked so hard to get this far, and we have high hopes that they will win through to yet the next level.
Well done everyone.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

My school surprise, by Diana

Happy House kid, Diana Weru, writes today's blog: 
We are so thankful to be at Happy house.
I thank Mama Sue and her husband, Papa Dave, for the support they give to me.
When I started at Happy House school it was a surprise, I had never seen such a school before in the whole world. it is so beautiful.
When I came I could not read or write. Now I can do both and much more.
I love Mama and Papa so much.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Kidz Club

There was great fun at Kidz Club this week when the girls' chodecided to give singing lessons to the boys.
But their efforts were so successful that when the boys and girls competed in the singing contest the boys emerged triumphant!
Two birthdays were celebrated by the whole family.
Brian Hayward (lfet) who is eight today, and Lucky Safari who is seven.
Happy birthday boys.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Rotary kindness

The warmth of the sunshine outside wasonly outdone by the warmth of the welcome our voluntary coordinator Elizabeth Gomm received when she was guest at Kirkham and Rural Fylde Rotary at Ribby Hal, Kirkham, last night.
Elizabeth had been invited to give a talk about Happy House by their president, Roger Kendrick, who had heard her speak at a recent media day for the Rotary District.
Elizabeth explained how her work as a journalist had led to her meeting Sue and about Mama Sue's road to the Happy House.
She gave an insight into the way Sue's work and Happy House has developed in the last eight years and the way in which children's lives are being transformed.
The Rotarians said they were both touched and impressed by Sue's work and by the passion of the presentation.
A cheque for £100 was presented to Elizabeth by Roger on behalf of the club.
Thank you Kirkham and Rural Fylde Rotary for your kindness and generosity. Every penny will go to benefit the children in our care.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

School showcase

An open day showcasing the facilities and philosophy of Happy House secondary school was a big success.
The aim is to try to attract fee-paying students to the school to help sustain it for those who those children in need who are in our care of Happy House home or on scholarship.
Student Kelvin David writes:
Parents were warmly welcomed at Happy House School by both teachers and the secondary students when they came to visit our open day.
They had a beautiful talk with the lovely director Mama Sue and afterwards were taken for a tour around the secondary section.
They were escorted in different sections such as the full equipped laboratory where they were impressed to see that students were able to conduct laboratory tests accurately and successfully.
The students were using their knowledge gained from lessons with  professional and competent teachers
They were then accompanied to the music room where they were entertained the band.    
From there they visited the computer room and study room with smart TV.
Happy House students showed  parents that they were not left behind in technology.
 Parents were delighted and surprised to see students competent in using computers, something that some of the parents were unable to do.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Music Festival triumph

Happy House was delighted to have the privilege of hosting the Watamu Cluster Nursery Music festivals.
Six local school came along to join our own nursery children and all were welcomed by Mama Sue who opened the competition with a word of prayer.
 The items were Solo Poems, Choral verses, Swahili Ngonjera and Swahili Solo shairi.
 At the end of the competition Happy House emerged winners after taking top place in all the four items.
There was joy as everyone celebrated the good results.
Happy House will now be going through to the next level on a date to be confirmed.
Many congratulations to all the children who took part and to our own children for their winning performance

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

History comes to life

World War 1 and World War 2 were  remembered and relived in the Happy House School.
This very special day came about after our young people watched the film, Saving Private Ryan and it had such and effect that we decided to focus on the history as it is one of the topics to be covered later in their syllabus
 The high school students were ready with their pens and books to make notes when their guest speak arrived.
 Mama, the speaker, came armed with every tool necessary and relevant on a study of happenings  the wars.
Mama carried with her a dagger thought to have been among those used in the war.
 She also had her late father’s picture when he was young just before fighting in WW2.
 All this, plus inclusion of power point slides, a lot of links from internet sites and her researched notes left an imprint of one of the best talks the school has had in its history.
In her summary, Mama talked of the grave of the Unknown Soldier  She emphasised that this could have been the son, brother, husband or father of any one of us.
We greatly salute the speaker, our Mama. We also say thank you to Uncle Ronald for managing the speaker’s power point work..
Thanks to Mr. Laurent and Md. Sarah (History and Government teacher) for writing this blog

Monday, 4 June 2018

Desks gift from South Ribble Rotary

Our joiner, Uncle Charo, is busy making new desks for our school.
With more children joining our classes we again need more furniture and the desks and chairs made in our joinery workshop are made to last.
Materials used are sourced locally so that also helps the economy.
Keeping our school, and our home, adequately furnished is an on-going process as there is always something new that is needed or that requires repairing.
Uncle Charo, a qualified joiner, is a stickler for detail and quality is key with every item he makes.
The new desks are being made thanks to a donation from South Ribble Rotary Club, for which we are truly grateful.
We look forward to them being finished so that we can send South Ribble pictures of them being used by pupils in class.
Thank you again, South Ribble Rotary, for your generosity.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

My friend, by Saumu

Happy House kid Saumu Safari writes today about her special friend.
My name is Saumu and my best friend is Rukia.
My friend likes singing. My friend is in class seven and next year is going in class eight.
My friend is beautiful. When she grows up she would like to be a hairdresser with her own salon,. My friend likes reading and writing. She is honest girl. 
My friend likes eating ugali and omena. My friend likes learning.
Saidi is Rukia's younger brother. I love my friend so much 

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Open day rehearsal

Narrations about their high school experiences brought extra life to Happy House on a rainy day, writes Mr Laurent.
Student after student eloquently described their diverse academic ventures to our upper primary stundents in preparation for an open day for prospective parents and students on Monday.
The Happy House Secondary School is in a class all by itself, the senior kids said. 
One after the other they revealed advantages  the addition of Smart TVs in enhancing their course work. 
The modern science laboratory coupled with research undertaken in the computer room and the fully stocked library brought out an outstanding and conducive learning environment.
Then there was the role played religiously by Mama in monitoring the kid’s performance; her listening and caring ear that guarantees solutions to the challenges facing the little kids and big kids alike.
Before other speakers including Mama, Mr Isaac, Uncle Ronald and Mr Laurent mentioned difficulties faced in most of the Kenyan boarding schools in terms of costs, bullying, poor facilities and huge teacher to student ratio, it was obvious all the primary kids in the audience had made their choice - never to leave their loving family.
As we prepare to host parents of prospective pupils  on Monday we are rest assured of better days ahead, together.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Garden helpers

 When Mama Sue asked the secondary school students if they would like to help in the Happy House garden, every one of them volunteered!
She offered them lunch in exchange for two hours work and the deal was struck.
Everyone worked so hard, girls and  boys, clearing weeds from where the maize is growing.
Mama Sue said:  The difference was stunning. We have some other areas that can be cleared for more planting, so they will come again on a Saturday. They were happy to be here all chatting and laughing together.
I bring the children up to care and share, whether it is their time or their love.
 Most of the kids are on scholarship so it is good that they are willing to give something back for all the support they receive.