Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Do us proud kids!

Mama Sue and Papa Dave joined our Primary Class 8 students after school on Monday.
The youngsters, now sitting their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams, had just finished an induction where they had been given details of the way exams are conducted and what would be expected of them.
The exams are regarded as extremely important and are held under close scrutiny and strict security to stamp out the chance of any cheating.
Mama and Papa wanted to meet with the students to wish them well and to give them encouragement ... and an incentive.
Mama promised a day out at Turtle Bay Hotel for all those who pass ...and, to much laughter, told Papa he'd be paying the bill!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Exam candidates go forth

There were special prayers for guidance and support for the students of Class Eight at Happy House School who are this week taking their important Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams. 
After a preparation day yesterday,  the exams star today with the only people allowed in being the candidates, independent invigilators, security staff and the head teacher.

Several days of exams will test the students on all they have studied in every subject area of the curriculum over the past four years.
A parent was invited to lead prayers for the candidates during the school closing day ceremony. 
Mama, Papa, principal, Mr Laurent, and social worker Uncle Ronnie watched intently as they he students entertained with some songs they had learnt to boost their confidence and courage.


Monday, 29 October 2018

Happy House graduates of 2018

The Class of 2018 put on their caps and gowns for their graduation ceremony at the end of year closing day ceremony at Happy House School.
The children in Pre-Primary Class 2 had the special ceremony as in January  they move to the next class, Grade 1,  according to the new curriculum introduced by the Government .
Graduation is an exciting day for the youngsters who each received a certificate which is a formal reminder of their big move!
Well done kids.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

My favourite teacher by Musyoka

This week our kids blog video features Musyoka who is talking about his favourite teacher, Mr Hamisi.
 Musyoka tells how Mr Hamisi has been helping him to improve in his maths.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Changing roles

With our Happy House administrator, Auntie Rose,  working alongside Mama and taking on an increasing amount of accountant management,  she is handing over responsibility for the sponsor scheme.
Social worker Uncle Ronnie, who all our sponsors know through the emails he sends out about their young friends, will now look after the sponsor scheme as he and Mama explain in today's video.
It will ensure that every contact, emails, parcels etc sent to children, are recorded in one place .
Nothing changes in the UK where Elizabeth sends out details of how to sponsor and Louise sends out child profiles to new sponsors.
To find out more about sponsoring a Happy House kid email:

Friday, 26 October 2018

A song for Class 8

There was a special song for our Happy House Class Eight students from all their fellow pupils at assembly this week.
Class Eight will be taking their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations next week, once the rest of the school has closed.
These important exams, held under stringent security, are key to their future. If they fail they cannot go on to secondary education.
They have worked hard and we wish them every success.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Mama and Papa - our heroes

Each October Kenya celebrates National Heroes Day.
And our Happy House School took the opportunity to declare Mama Sue and Papa Dave as their heroes.
Head teacher Mr Isaac told the gathering at assembly this week how Mama and Papa had selflessly given up their lives in the UK to move to Kenya to devote their time and energies to changing the lives of children by providing a children's home for the needy and and through providing a school to give opportunities through education.
He reminded the school's students to appreciate all the facilities they had in school, all provided through Mamas vision and the support of others who shared her beliefs.
Their was thunderous applause for Mama and Papa who were clearly very moved by this touching gesture.
To many of us, from all around the world, they have long been our heroes and it's wonderful to to know that they are also heroes to those on their adopted home ground.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Showing their colours

What better way to mark the end of exams than with some fresh air and exercise?
And that's just what happened at Happy House school when there was an inter-house competition.
The first game between Green and Red which ended with a score line of 1:0 in favour of the Green team.
The second team was between Yellow and Blue and the winning team was blue who a score line of 1:0
In the final between the two winning teams Green triumphed over Blue with a final score of 2:0.
With the whole school out to cheer on their house teams it was a noisy and happy event.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Tuning in to Radio Papa!

Our Happy House School started the final week of the school year on a high note with an assembly where Papa Dave, also known as "Radio Watamu", announced the weekend's football results!
This came after the  serious business of raising the flags, prayers and a talk from Mama Sue outlining the week ahead, when she and Uncle Ronnie, will be talking the children about the results of their end of year exams.
Papa Dave, as always, had everyone laughing and assembly finished with his own little army of Leeds Utd supporters giving their rendition of the club's anthem Marching On Together!

Monday, 22 October 2018

Starting a new chapter

 A generous donation has enabled us to buy some of the books we will need for our students going up into the final year of secondary education at Happy House School.
We will open form four when the new academic year starts in January.
It is hugely important for these young people to have the books and equipment they need to get through their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations and that means additional expense for our charity.
As they are studying a wide range of subjects a lot of text books are needed, plus  additional teaching text books for our teachers.
These students, most of them on free place scholarships because of their home circumstances of hardship, are bright and lively, eager to learn and looking forward to going out into the world holding their heads up high, proud to be the first Form Four graduates from Happy House School.
That is a year away, and they have some serious studying to do in that time - the right books, and equipment, is an absolute must, regardless of cost.
In this video Mama Sue and some of the students express their appreciation to those who help keep them in education and on the road out of poverty.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

A little about Lily

Sponsors are important to our children at Happy House. They know them from their letters and their emails.
Sometimes, if they are lucky, they get to meet them too, when a sponsor comes to visit.
As you know we build sponsor families for our children, so they have more than one friend. This helps cushion the blow if circumstances change and a sponsor is unable to continue and also helps to give our kids a wider outlook on the world beyond Watamu.
Lily's very first sponsor was Steph, then our youngest sponsor too, and Lily holds her close to her heart.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Kidz Club

It was birthday time for our Thomas who has turned six this week.
Thomas, who has a smile as wide as a mile, received his birthday gift at Kidz Club when Auntie Rose was leading the gathering as Mama and Papa were enjoying a few days away for Mama's birthday.
Oscar and his room mates were the winners of te best kept room award,.
Auntie Velma went through the marks for each room so the kids know exactly who is doing well and who should be doing much better!

Friday, 19 October 2018

Our gates get a makeover

The gates are the first thing our visitors see when they arrive at Happy House children's home.
And they always comment on how colourful and welcoming they look.
Papa had them painted with the words: "Sue Hayward's Happy House" plus balloons and more as a surprise for Mama a few years ago.
They are beginning to look a bit tired and because they are made of metal we can't risk them getting any rust, so they are receiving a makeover as Uncle Ronnie and Uncle Ibrahim explain in today's video.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Mamas Birthday - part 2

 Mama's birthday celebrations were combined with a kidz club.
The winners of the winning bedroom of the week award were announced and birthday boy Stevie received his gifts and greetings from Mama, papa and the family.
Then there was party time with singing, dancing and chocolate cake!
What a treat for everyone and how lovely of Mama to share her special day with the children she loves.
As usual little Elizabeth took her place on Mama's lap - there is nowhere she would rather be!
We hope Mama and Papa have enjoyed their birthday break and come back home refreshed and happy.
Mama sends special thanks to friends all around the world who sent Mama greetings by email or via our Happy House Facebook page, she was thrilled to hear from you.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Birthday time for Mama - part 1

Mama's birthday celebrations started early with greetings from all the children in our Happy House School.
They sang to her at the weekly school assembly.  
The following day there was a party for all the family at home with special meal of homemade beefburgers  with salad followed by fresh fruit with evaporated milk.
That was followed by entertainment from the children for their Mama, birthday greeting - with lots of lovely handwritten letters ad drawings from the kids - and the regular boys v girls singing contest.
Mama was the judge and declared the result a draw.
And no birthday party is complete without a cake and right on cue a wonderful cake, made by our cook Auntie Phillis, was produced - the icing on the cake of a special day!
Please click on this link to watch a second video
Part 2 of Mama's Birthday Party on tomorrow's blog 

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Birthday surprise for Mama

Today is Mama Sue's birthday.
Add we know that you will want to wish her a very happy day.
The family celebrated early, as Papa has whisked her off for a few days rest and relaxation on the coast of Mombasa. 
The staff surprised with gifts of roses - one from each member of staff, and later in the day there was a party for all the Happy House family.
If anyone deserves a happy birthday, it is our Mama Sue.
She works tirelessly, day in, day out, to give a better life to children from from backgrounds of destitution and despair, trauma or tragedy, abandonment or abuse.
Mama Sue is truly their Mama, the matriarch of a family that she has created. The Happy House was her concept, her vision, and it was her dedication that brought it to life.
Hundreds of lives have, and are, being changed by Mama Sue's intervention. Kids from hopeless situations now have hope in their hearts, food in their tummies and love in their lives.
Relatives who have managed to get back on their feet after whatever problems led to their child or children going into care, have been reunited with their kids because Mama has made it so.
As much as she loves each child that comes into her care, she believes that their place, if possible, is with the families and the communities they were born into.
At home and in school, Mama Sue is giving kids aspirations, opportunities and ambition.
Because of her they will go on to help change their world for the better.
She is one very special lady, one special friend,  and we love her.
Happy birthday, Mama.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Many hands make light work!

Happy House high school students joined together on Saturday to work in the gardens of our children's home, where we grow food for our family and school meals.
They had a meeting with Mama, Papa and groundsman Alex who advised them on how to divide themselves into work groups.
They then enjoyed a hearty lunch before going out into the garden
 One group was slashing the weeds, another collecting wood and taking it to the kitchen to be used for firewood; while the
third group was  preparing ground for planting new groups.
The final group was working on getting plots ready for Form 4 agricultural projects which are part of the secondary school curriculum requirements of the Ministry of Education.
They had an enjoyable day in which they achieved a great deal. 

Sunday, 14 October 2018

My teacher by Husna

Today the  Happy House blogger is Husna who is talking about her teacher, Mr Isaac.
He has a thing or two to say about her too!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Auntie B back in school

We have already featured our Auntie Coral, this time it is the turn of  another fantastic volunteer. Auntie B.
Amanda Bunbury, whose daughter
Gussy volunteered with our family, is now back for a return visit.
Amanda, from London had been teaching in primary education for the last 18 years mainly in Year 2 (6-7 year olds) but is qualified to teach across the primary age range.
She is a great help in school, and in today's video we meet her  working with a group of children.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Young Farmers Club

Farming is important to every economy in the world and so teaching youngsters how to grow food crops is an important skill.
In this video you can see our Happy House Young Farmers' Club, a group of mixed ages,  getting some valuable advice from their teacher in our garden.
Anything they plant and crop goes to our kitchen to feed our family.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

New Labarotary Equipment

 With the end of one school year coming to an end and a new year beginning in January we are already preparing for our students who will be going up into Class Four of of High School.
This is their final year of secondary education so key to their futures.
We have a number of students who aspire to careers in science and having all they need to get through their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams is so important.
We have invested in more laboratory equipment to ensure they are competent in the areas required.Our Papa Dave did the shopping, making sure he got a good deal, and he and Mama delivered the equipment to school to the delight of our pupils.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Volunteering in school

Volunteer Coral Blackhurst has been visiting Happy House every year since 2010 and is a valuable help in our school.
Coral, from the Isle of Man, assists teachers in our pre-primary department helping where she can.
A former nursery school owner, Coral is experienced in early years development and works with children both in groups and individually.
They know her well and are always pleased when she arrives back for another few months.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Starting the week with a smile

 Mama Sue and Papa Dave attended assembly to start the week at  Happy House School.
End of term is fast approaching and with it the end of year examinations, so Mama, Papa and our social worker Uncle Ronald went along to encourage the youngsters to work hard and revise.
But anyone who knows Papa will also know that it doesn't take long for the conversation to come round to his favourite subject - football!
And he and Mama did a comedy double act, intended or not,  as they teased each other about the performances of the teams they support and the weekend results.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Saturday Kidz Club

Now Mama has decided to hold family meetings twice a week, Kidz Club gives the children a double opportunity to show off their talents for song and dance. 
You only have to ask a Happy House kid to dance and  they're up on their feet strutting their stuff.
Their natural sense of rhythm and  musicality makes them born entertainers!
But Kidz Club is also a chance to reinforce "keep tidy" reminders and to give extra focus to coming exams and to share any family news.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Little ones by Lily

Lily, 13, is our video blogger today.
Lily loves to help look after the younger ones in our family and here she introduces you to Esther, Neema, Elizabeth and  Ludwin - as she says there are many more but they didn't feel like joining in!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Winners and losers

There were winners and losers at Kidz Club this week at Happy House.
Winners of the room of the week prize last week, led by room captain Natasha, had their clock removed as they had the least points of the 10 rooms .
Mama Sue explained that failing to keep up to the high standard she expects would result in prizes being taken away again - because consistency is so important.
So whilst there was disappointment from Natasha's Room, there was joy from the boys' room led by room captain Baraka Francis who won this week receiving a clock to go up on a wall in their room.
There were two birthdays to celebrate - Baraka Paul and Neema Kanze. Auntie Dawn presented Neema with her gift and Mama Sue gave Baraka his.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Flower power rules

Students in our Happy House High School who are studying biology are putting theory into practice by growing flowers to beautify the school grounds.
They are learning all about how flowers grow from seed to blossom. Mama Sue ensures they have both seeds - many donated by you our wonderful supporters - and top soil to give them gardens to be proud of.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Well done, Auntie Libby

 Our Happy House family was excited to hear our UK coordinator Elizabeth Gomm, their Auntie Libby, was going to be on the television.
When her partner Mike Foster died last year,  Elizabeth bought a memorial bench in Stanley Park, Blackpool, but then got to wondering about the people who would be sitting on it.
She gave the bench its own email address and posted a notice asking people stopping there to send in their pictures from Mike's Bench with a view to holding an exhibition - a fitting tribute as Mike had spent his life as newspaper photographer.
A year, and more than 300 pictures later, Elizabeth opens her exhibition A Year In The Life Of Mike's Bench today in the park Visitor Centre.
It's captured headlines on both BBC Breakfast, Granada Reports, and North West tonight, and on radio including the Jeremy Vine Show, Radio Lancashire, the Johnny l'Anson Show and today 5Live will be broadcasting from the exhibition.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Timely reminder

There was a timely reminder from Mama Sue for our Happy House kids at Saturday Kidz Club.
She said Auntie Millicent, who had been on room inspections, had noted that standards were slipping in rooms that had already won the Room of the Week Award.
Mama said it was important to keep their rooms up to scratch or the lovely clocks they'd won might  disappear! 
The children agreed to try their best.
There was lots of laughter and songs as everyone relaxed into the weekend. 
A happy time for all.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Lunch time!

Saturday and after a morning of activities at school our Happy House kids come home  hungry and ready to refuel.
Our cook Auntie Phillis has their lunch ready and waiting, so once they've washed their hands,  sat down and said Grace, they are ready to eat.
This Saturday, Mama Sue invites you to join them while they have rice and a spinach stew  - as you can see the kids love it!