Friday, 31 August 2018

Inside School: Laboratory Lesson

A visit to our laboratory at Happy house School today with teachers and some of our science students.

Having a laboratory, funded by Blackpool Soroptimist International, Christine Walker Fund,  brings the sciences to life for our students and inspires them.
We are immensely grateful to Blackpool Soroptimists for their belief in what we are doing and for giving us such a wonderful learning space.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Inside School: The Music Room

Today, Francis, a free-place scholarship student Happy House School invites you to join him in the music room.
We are fortunate to have items of musical equipment that have been donated by generous friends, including a handmade drum kit.
All our kids love music and have a natural sense of rhythm, so having musical instruments gives them the opportunity to explore their talents.
Francis, who is Form 3 in our secondary school, and the other older kids including Gabriel, on drums, share their own talents by helping the younger kids to learn some basic technique.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Inside school: New storybooks

A donation of £250 has bought new storybooks for our children in Happy House School.The books, seven titles all by Kenyan writers in Kswahili, will help improve both reading and language skills. Mama Sue went into Class 2 to distribute the books with teacher Madam Hilda.She talks about the value of donated resources of all kinds to our school and the children add their thanks.
Thanks you to all those who help us so generously.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Inside School: Transport

Being able to get children from the community into Happy House School and back home at the end of the day involves a lot of organisation.
Our school bus, painted yellow earlier this year to comply with new Government regulations, has a whole list of collection and dropping off points in the areas on the outskirts of Watamu and beyond.
Not only do the children have to be transported, they also have to be chaperoned by a teacher.
So it's a busy time, morning and afternoon, as they board the bus to start and finish their school day.
It's a noisy time too!

Monday, 27 August 2018

Home News: Birthday girl Florence

 Florence celebrated her birthday with all her Happy House family at the weekly Kidz Club.

She one very happy little girl as you will see from our video.
It was the usual busy gathering, with children of all ages forming choirs to compete against each other in a sing-off.
And as a special treat there was fruit salad for everyone with a topping of evaporated milk.
Picture tucking in are Elizabeth (top left) and Abu, Erick, Said and Brian

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Hassan comes home for a holiday!

Once at Happy Hosue kid, always a Happy House kid! Hassan an elder sister, Maria, spent five years in our care at Children of Watamu happy house children's home and school, before we were able to repatriate them to an auntie - with our continuing support.
Reunited with blood family, they remain a part of our family and know they are always welcome back.
Hassan, in particular, loves coming to visit and asked Mama Sue if he could come to stay for a  week in the  school holidays. Of course, she said yes.
So home he's been, back with his Happy House brothers and sisters and a big helper to Papa Dave, who he looks up to and loves.
School holidays over, he's now returned his aunt's and is looking forward to his next visit for the Christmas reunion week in December.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Home News: Ice cream and more for all

No sooner do our visitors arrive than it is time for them to go - time flies at Happy House!
It was a great pleasure to meet Richard Lea from South Ribble Rotary Club and for him to see just how the support they give us is helping to change lives.

Richard was impressed with all he saw and enjoyed his time with Mama Sue, Papa Dave and our family.
On his final visit he brought a pen and pencil for each of our children which will come in very handy as they start back at school next week!
They posed for photographs together on our Happy House steps before bidding our friend a safe journey home. He also left money for ice-cream which was duly bought and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone,
Thank you Richard for your kindness and for coming to se us.

Friday, 24 August 2018

A Happy House Welcome

Our at family Happy House were delighted to give a warm and lively welcome to some special guests.
Fundraiser Megan Irvine-Mordaunt, who raised £7000 to build two classrooms on our school,  has made a welcome return along with her mum Sonia Irvine and friend Aurora.
Richard Lea, a member of South Ribble Rotary Club, has been on his first visit to Happy House.
His Rotary Club support two of ur children and are always so supportive.
Richard arrived with some Kenyan friends one of whose education he supported.

Mama Sue and Papa Dave greeted our guests and our children put on a showtime to make it a very entertaining and joyful morning.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Inside School: Holiday breadmaking

"Working together as a family", that is how Musyoka introduces today's school holiday video.
Happy House kids,  aunties and teachers are all in the outdoor kitchen together making bread  for family meals during the school holidays.
The youngsters are learning valuable skills which will last them a lifetime and having a really happy time into the bargain.
And as they are the ones who get to eat the delicious fresh-made bread, it's a win, win situation.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Inside School: Gardening

Another activity  kids at home have enjoyed during the school holidays is gardening.
Uncle Alex, who works in our garden, has had an influx of help from the children and our teachers.
The kids always enjoy gardening, and have their own greenhouses, and know how to plant, nurture and harvest the crops they grow.
Not only do they enjoy growing fruit and vegetables they also enjoy eating them - everything we grow goes straight into our kitchen once it is ready!

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Inside School: Competition counts

Mama Sue led a life skills discussion with  some of our older kids during the holidays.
She talked about being kind,  honest and truthful and about respect - both self-respect and respecting others.
Mama Sue also talked about the importance of competition in school and in the wider world.
Her drive and determination not only led to the creation of the Happy House, it also ensures that it continues to grow and thrive and to change many more young lives as a result.
Visitor, Megan Irvine-Mordaunt, who raised £7000 to build two new classrooms on our school, joined Mama and the kids for the morning workshop.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Inside school: Helping at home

Teachers join the children in helping at home at Happy House while school is on holiday.
The kids are always eager to join in family chores, it's fun. 
Teachers get them organised into teams and they all work together.
They really enjoyed splashing about cleaning the netted window screens which keep the insects out of their rooms!
As Mr Laurent says helping at home is all a part of being a family and good exercise too!

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Inside School: Teddy talks about Happy House

 Scholarship student Teddy Kipchoge talks about how an education at Children of Watamu charity's Happy House School s changing his life.
Now in secondary form 1, Teddy would not have been in school without the help of Happy House .

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Home News: Kidz Club

Auntie Rose had the tough decision of choosing the winners of the weekly singing challenge between girls and boys at our Kidz Club family meeting.
As always it was a for the family to get together to share news, celebrate birthdays, and to discuss any family matters including behaviour, manners etc.
But the highlight has become the sing-off.  We won't tell you who won, you can find out by watching our video!

Friday, 17 August 2018

Inside School: C is for confidence

Every child needs to believe in themselves and at  Happy House home andschool we grow children who are happy, capable and confident.
Those who have come to our care from tragic or traumatic situations are unsure of anything when they first arrive, many never having had any security, continuity or direction before.
But with love, kindness and respect we turn their lives around and 
instil in them a self-belief. 

In this video from our end of term closing day you will see our scout group performing the flag raising ceremony, the acrobats doig some very daring stunts and and some of the youngsters putting on a play.
We hope you will enjoy.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Inside School: Fundraiser Megan sees the results

It's wonderful for any fundraiser to see how their efforts have changed lives.
And so it was a special day for Megan Irvine Mordaunt  when she arrived at Happy House to see the classrooms that she paid for.
Megan embarked on a mission to help our secondary school build after visiting Happy House last summer and learning that we needed two new classrooms.
A student at Cheltenham Ladies College,  she swam 500 laps of her school pool over three days, smashing through her fundraising target of 7000 euros thanks to sponsorship from generous family and friends.
" I was  inspired by the incredible work being done to give these children a better future. 
"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 enabled us to go ahead with Mama Sue's revised plan of building four new classrooms instead of the two we had originally planned  thus providing additional space for study rooms which are now in use for specialist groups or subjects. The additional cost was met by those who supported our building appeal.
Mama Sue and Papa Dave are delighted to see Megan and to be able to thank her personally for her amazing effort.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Inside School: T time!

The videos from our end of term closing day concert at Happy House School show our children look smart in their school uniforms or matching t-shirts.
 The t-shirts are an illustration of just how much care we take of everything we receive in donations .
The London School t-shirts, still as white as the day from Gordana Marjanovic, director and head of studies at the London School in Rovereto, Italy,  and partner Dragutin Trickovic, brought them to Happy house in 2015.
The Unite the Union t-shirts have been going even longer - since 2010!
Political officer for the union, Terry Burns, brought them out to Kenya for the children.
Terry is also founder of Lancashire charity Furniture for Education Worldwide and provided much of the furniture we needed when we first opened, and who through the charity, and personally, has been a great supporter of our HappY house/
All the t-shirts have been worn and worn, but are well looked after and so are still good for many more outings.
Thank you again to Terry and Gordana, we hope you enjoy our video of performances featuring primary classes 5, 2 and 7.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Inside School: Storytime

Story time is always a winner with our kids at Happy House.
In the school break, teacher Mr Maramba has been using story time sessions to help improve younger children's reading and language skills.
Children in Kenya are taught in English, but Kswahili is their national language and  so it is important to be fluent in both - verbally and in writing.
Today's story time is in Kswahili.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Inside School: Life skills

The choice is yours. That was the theme of a Life Skills discussion with some of our older students led by Md Caroline at Happy House during the school break.
Md Caroline and Mama Sue invited the young people to think about education and what it means them and to reflect on their own attitudes towards it.
Life skills sessions are an important to the development of grounded, responsible and able young people.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Inside school: Scholarship student Nasri

The bright light of opportunity started to shine the day, in 2024, that Nasri joined our Happy House family. 
When he was awarded a scholarship place in our Happy House school, Nasri, who been in and out of school because of his family circumstances, knew that he had the security of a school place - provided he worked hard and did his best.
He is a confident and capable student,
Now in Form 3 of our secondary school Nasri continues to do his best,

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Home News: Kidz Club

There was a lively Kidz Club this week with the usual singing contest between boys and girls.
Uncle Ronald had the difficult task of judging, picking the he winners.
There were also important birthdays to celebrate with gifts and greetings to present to the birthday children Joshua (6) Jessica(8) and Stephano (14)
As you will see on the video, it was all too much for one little boy who curled up for a sleep in his favourite place - Mama Sue's loving arms.

Inside School: Closing Day Part 2
To watch Primary classes 4, 5 and 6 perform song, dance and a verse at the end of term closing day celebration , please click on this link to YouTube.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Inside school: Youngest kids put on a show

Our nursery children put on a great show at the end of term Closing Day celebrations  for Happy House pre-primary, primary and secondary schools, attended by pupils, staff, parents, visitors and friends.
Clarina Filikita, who is in pre-primary class two, took the limelight, to treat the audience to a performance of poetry .
Clarina's award winning performances at zone, regional and county level took her on to national level in the inter-schools Pre-Primary Music Festival which saw her travel to the Nyeri for the finals this week representing the county.
Clarina put on an excellent performance, coming 9th out of 45 with judges awarding her 85%.  
It was a close run final with the overall national winner gaining 89%
Clarina, who is a day pupil, received a certificate from Mama at Closing Day . 
They are pictured with her proud parents. 
Well done Clarina.
There will be more videos of Closing Day performances on the blog tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Inside School: Handwriting lesson with video

Smart television is making learning interactive and interesting for our pupils in Happy House School. 
On today's video Mama Sue talks about the way smart televisions are being used for lessons right across the age range from pre-primary to secondary school.
She also thanks the friends who made it possible for our school to have the latest technology in its study rooms.  Andrea Manders from Poulton, Lancs, and Lesley and Alan Pidcock, who live in Saudi Arabia, but also have a home near Poulton, raised the money for the TV sets with help from their friends and family.

The TVs are in use every day with timetabled lessons and give our teachers the chance to use both text books and the huge range of learning resources available  to them on internet when planning lessons for their subjects.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Inside School: Handwriting lesson

Smart television is making learning interactive and interesting for our pupils in Happy House School. 
On today's video Mama Sue talks about the way smart televisions are being used for lessons right across the age range from pre-primary to secondary school.
She also thanks the friends who made it possible for our school to have the latest technology in its study rooms.  Andrea Manders from Poulton, Lancs, and Lesley and Alan Pidcock, who live in Saudi Arabia, but also have a home near Poulton, raised the money for the TV sets with help from their friends and family.

The TVs are in use every day with timetabled lessons and give our teachers the chance to use both text books and the huge range of learning resources available  to them on internet when planning lessons for their subjects.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Inside School: Testing time in physics

Having a science laboratory sets Happy House school apart from most others in the district.
And it also gives our young students, from primary through to top secondary school, a head start in science and a real passion for the subjects.
In today's video blog we join Mr Hillary in the lab with students taking a practical examination in physics.
All the students taking part are on our scholarship scheme which provides them with free education in our school. 
Without Happy House these young people, now in the penultimate year of secondary school, would not be in school at all.
Instead, they have a chance to break free from the cycle of poverty and achieve and thrive in their future lives.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Inside school: Music festival success

Today is a big day for a small girl, as she represents Happy house and her county in the finals of a national music festival.
Clarina, a day pupil, who is in pre-primary class two, gas made a huge impression with her recitation and presentation in the poetry section of the inter-schools competition.
She has got through to the national final after winning  first place for her recitation of a poem, I Look in the Mirror, at zonal, regional and county level.
Today in Nyeri, 708 kilometres away from Watamu, she will compete for Happy House and the county against 46 other counties for the national crown. Her teacher, Md Getry is accompanying her.
To celebrate her success Mama organised a treat of biscuits and juice for all the pre-primary children.
Our clever Clarina was happy to present her poem for all her school family - and for us too. Relax and enjoy!
Well done Clarina and best wishes for today.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Inside school with blogger, Husna

Husna and her younger brother Hussein have lived in our family at Happy House children's  since  2014.
They came to us having lived in dire poverty with their mum, a widow, who was unable to work because she was caring for her own mother who had suffered a severe stroke.
She was defeated circumstances and unable to support her children and they came into our care.

Being at Happy House  has given Husna and Hussein the security of a stable home, a worry-free childhood and the precious gift of education.They love going to Happy House School, and as today's blogger, Husna, tells you something about her school.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Home news: Thanks at home and in the UK

Many thanks to the crafty ladies of Say it with Stitches who have raised £515 for Happy House.
Say it with Stitches Stall this spring and summer.
Patricia Beechey, a former headteacher and her friend Anna  have been joined by a few other retired creatives to make a whole range of little items that we have sold at various craft markets around their local area in Surrey.
Patricia said " I have to say that selling has been pretty difficult as people are so much more careful with their money recently, but they are generally much more generous when they hear about The Happy House and your work. 
We share your flyers and always explain about the wonderful work you are all doing.
We are going to have a little rest from stalls for the next few months, replace our stock and get ready for Christmas. 
 So fingers crossed, people will get into the spirit of Christmas and spend."
We are hugely grateful to Pat, Anna and their talented friends for all the time, talent and effort they put into raising money for our of family.
It will be used to buy the mattresses we so desperately need to replace.

Kidz Club thank you

There was a special thank you at Kidz Club   or school principal, Mr Laurent.
Kids Happy House Children's Home and School have just completed their exams and  Mama Sue wanted them say thank you to Mr Laurent for the way he has helped them to achieve better results,.
He had suggested study groups to give them an opportunity to work together and build strengths and also other ways of focused learning.
There was the usual singing and competition, with many happy voices joined in friendly combat! 
And even the aunties got up for a song - not that they needed too much encouragement!

Friday, 3 August 2018

Inside school: Our teachers say hello

To start our series, Inside School, we join a teachers meeting.The teaching staff meet with Mama Sue and our social worker, Uncle Ronald, every week to discuss progress and to plan. On this occasion Mama asks each of the teachers to introduce themselves to you

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Inside school: With Mama Sue

Mama Sue,  whose vision and determination made the happy house happen and gave us a charity and a family we could share in, introduces a  new video series, Inside School.
 Over the coming weeks we wewill give you a chance to see children and staff in our Happy House Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary schools.  
You will join them in lessons, on the sports field  etc . 
We hope you will enjoy and tell your friends about the work we are doing in both our children's home, and in our schools. 


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Visitors from UK: We loved our visit

An assistant headteacher from Northamptonshire, Daniella Plesca, was delighted  to meet our children during her visit to Watamu.
Daniella, who teaches at Hatfield Cross School in Kettering, and her husband, Denis,  were interested to see around our school and home.
Daniella, who brought with her some gifts from pupils in her school,  said: 
"We are in Kenya for a holiday but wanted to be able to give something from one school to another.
We loved visiting Happy House it is nice to be able to physically see what donations contribute towards and seeing such happy children, enthusiastic about their learning and with a lovely, caring home. 
Although the children may have a limited family by blood it was clear that happy House is a loving home and that the children are well cared for and loved. 
Sue and Dave were incredible and our whole visit was filled with big smiles"