Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Christmas Special: A walk iN Watamu

 We all feel like a walk on Christmas Day and our kids at Happy house are no exception.
After a filling breakfast, they set off for a walk enjoying the sights and sounds of the the village. The happy band, were able to greet our neighbours and to wish them a Happy Christmas.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Christmas special: Festive baking

Celebrating Christmas early as we do at the Happy House doesn't mean that our children go without treats.
On Christmas Eve they tucked into one of their very favourite meals - hot dogs with onions, followed by fruit salad and ice cream. The kids made the bread, under the watchful eye of our cook, and helped by Papa Dave to do the onions (just like his mum used to make). In this video, "baker" John is our guide!

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Christmas Special: Lunchtime treats

Fizzy drinks and ice cream ...  two real Christmas treats for our Happy House family.
After a trek home from the beach, there was time to shower and change into their best clothes ready for their Christmas lunch.
And spending a morning running about meant there were some very healthy appetites!
Mama has asked the children to choose the menu for lunch and they picked chicken pilau followed by fresh fruit salad and ice cream and the fizzy drinks were an extra bonus.
As if they're not bubbly enough!

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Christmas Special: Fun on the beach

What a great time our Happy House kids had celebrating Christmas with a trip to the beach.
All in lovely swim costumes, all donated by our wonderful friends, they made a colourful sight as they enjoyed splashing or swimming in the sea, building sandcastles or playing beach games. They also had the kites they'd made to fly. Snacks of fresh fruit were given out and, as always, the bigger children looked after the younger ones. It was a lovely family outing, as some of our kids tell you, before going home for a celebration lunch.

Friday, 27 December 2019

Christmas Special: Festive fanfare

There's no mistaking our Happy House family when they are out and about.
Our children love to sing and it's lovely to see just how much fun they had on their walk to the beach - the start of their Christmas festivities.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Christmas Special: Happy band sets off for beach

Mama Sue and Papa Dave were leaders of the a very happy band when our Happy House family set out for a Christmas visit to the beach.
The kids with some locally handmade instruments and others they'd made themselves at home made were in tune for a morning of fun in the sun, sea and sand!
The beach was their choice for the start of their Christmas celebration and they'd been eagerly looking forward to it.
They set off from Happy House wearing their hand-woven Christmas hats and some carrying the kites they'd made.
They had a lovely time as some of our kids tell you.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Christmas Special: Santa singalong!

 Our Happy House kids had a singalong with Santa when he arrived to see them.
Santa and Mrs Santa gave Rudolph a rest as they swept in by motorbike! Santa and Mrs Santa (also known at Pete and Jo Reid) handed out gift bags to each of our excited children. We'll be bringing you more videos from our Christmas celebrations over the next few days.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Christmas Special: Mama tunes in!

As we start our Christmas Special series of videos from Happy House, Mama Sue tunes in with whole percussion band! Over the following days we will be bringing you video showing our family getting ready for any enjoying their Christmas. As is our tradition, we celebrate Christmas a few days early to ensure that the majority of our staff can join in and have time off with their own families on Christmas Day.
Our children, will of course, not miss out and will have a happy day enjoying themselves so it's a win, win!e wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful 2020.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Christmas Special: Flying high

A trip to the beach was the children's choice for their Christmas morning celebration.
And when you have surf and sunshine on your doorstep what could be better than beach in the morning followed by lunch and a a visit from Santa back at home.
They got busy planning a new activity for their visit by making kites as Baraka tells us in this video.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Christmas special: Hat's the way ...

 While you are getting ready to pull on your paper hat, just take a look at these Christmas creations made by kids at the Happy House.
They use palm leaves, from trees in our garden, to weave elaborate designs to wear for their festive celebrations. John, one of our older kids, presents this video from our busy hat workshop!

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Visitors from Belgium

 Mama Sue and the Happy House family were delighted to welcome a group of visitors from Belguim
Patrick, Bart, Wilfried, Janine and Beryl had discovered the Happy House on the internet whilst planning a visit to Watamu, loved what they saw and decided they wanted to help as Rosemary explains.
They brought along six suitcases full of useful and much needed items for our children, We are so grateful and would like to say another thank you for their kindness.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Making changes

Today, we are pausing our All About Me Series for a while so that we can bring you news of events and changes at Happy House.
In this video, Mama Sue talks to you from our new art room at at Happy House School. It will open when school starts for a new academic year in January She also outlines other important changes which have made more room to expand our primary section whilst, with regret, ending our venture into secondary education. Fortunately secondary education locally has vastly improved and we will be supporting our own children and those who remain on the scholarship scheme through secondary school. They will have the added advantage of still being able to use our computer room, lab and other facilities. We tried so hard to attract the fee paying students needed to make the secondary school viable, but parents remain entrenched in the tradition of sending their children to boarding schools when they reach that stage. Mama explains how the school building will be used by our younger pupils.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

All About Me: Husna

Husna is growing up having fun and looking forward to the future. In the five years since she and her younger brother, Hussein, were brought into the care of Happy House family they have been able to live an untroubled childhood knowing they are safe and loved.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

All About Me: Florence

It's so good to see girls like Florence talking about themselves and their lives as part of our great big family at the Happy House. She and her Jacinta had experienced a really tough time before being brought into our care in 2014. Since that time they have flourished and enjoy life at home and in our school.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

All About Me : Mwende

Mwende has spent most of her life at Happy House. She was 18-months-old when she came to us, with her older brothers Musyoka and Francis, as some of our very first children in 2010. The children maintained strong links with their grandparents, who at the time were unable to care for them, and when it was possible they returned to live with their blood family. But Mwende found it difficult to adjust and returned to our care as Mama always promises: Once at Happy House kid, always a Happy house kid!. Here she tells you a bit more about herself.

Monday, 16 December 2019

All About Me - a new series

All About Me is a series in which our children living in our care at Happy House tell you about themselves. Mama Sue tells you about it in this introduction.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Ball bonus for football team

Happy House is a caring and sharing environment and the children in our care truly understand the importance of looking out for those around them and of sharing what they have. Evans has grown up in our care and is determined to qualify social worker when he leaves school. He is already interested and involved in the local community. When Jo and Pete Reid from Lytham arrived this week bringing with them lots of gifts of much needed items, there were a number of footballs. Evans asked Mama Sue if it would be possible to give two to a local soccer team in Timboni. Evans plays in the team and Mama knew that the footballs would be a great bonus to them and that they would be well cared for.
As thanks the team is renaming itself Happy House and will be flying the flag for the work we do. The team was invited to Happy House for a formal presentation with Jo and Pete. Evans is featured in this video.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Call to the band

Our new musical instruments are providing a huge amount of joy and inspiration for our kids at Happy House. They are really working hard to learn to play the traditional instruments the traditional way , plus the addition of some improvised instruments, and gathering help where they can. Uncle Foleni who works in our kitchen gave them some tuition at Kidz Club when they showed Mama and Papa what they had been learning. They are hoping to have a band, well rehearsed, by Christmas!

Friday, 13 December 2019

A thank you from Jo and Peter

Travelling from the Fylde Coast in Lancashire on their annual trip to visit the Happy House family, Joanne and Pete Reid took bags of gifts for our family. They had been donated by their friends and Jo's generous colleagues at Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, Pete and Jo have also raised £646 with an Into the Bottle coin collection which includes £270 raised by Jo's Spire friends taking part in a fitness exercise bike challenge.
The money is towards equipping a new art room at our school. Here Pete and Jo, from Lytham, say hello and thank you from the Happy House.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

What a catch!

A visit to the beach gave some of our older boys a chance to have a go at fishing. Not that they used a net or a rod, they caught the fish whilst swimming underwater. It took some doing, but they landed a big one as John tells you in this video and took it home to Happy House to provide a tasty meal!

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Dancing in the office!

Mama's office is the hub of the Happy House and place where the kids gather when they want to show her something new, sing a new song or just pass by for a hello and a hug. So after the older kids had been out to buy locally made, traditional instruments for the new music room at school, as Mama had asked them to, they were being stored in her office. After a delicious meal, cooked y the boys, Mama and Papa were in her office when Uncle Carlos, our builder, called by to see her and seeing the musical instruments he led the boys, volunteer Maisie, Auntie Rose, Uncle Ronald and Papa to a bit of dance. It was great fun!

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Splish, splash, splosh!

Children from our Happy House family had fun in the sun on another trip to beach. As they are enjoying the long school holiday at home with Mama Sue, Papa Dave and the rest of our huge and happy family, visits to the beach are more often. They absolutely love their time splashing in the sea, with the older ones looking after the younger ones, and playing in the sand.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Christmas star

Happy House has it's own little Christmas star in the form of Alice Webster. Alice, who lives in Leyburn, Yorkshire, and goes to a small, struggling school which has federated with another primary school and now teach across both sites. There are 26 children taught in her school and 50 in the other. Chosen as a member of the school council, Alice put forward ideas for a chosen charity and obviously put forward the Happy House which was chosen jointly with Cancer Research. She’s been busy organising events to raise money starting with a toy and book sale and her second event is the sale of mince pies at the school nativity. And not any old mince pie, she baked her own (with a little bit of help from her mum, Louise!). Louise and her husband, Gary, were the very first people to join our sponsored child scheme, before the Happy House building work was complete, with their donation used to help finish and furnish. And as soon as the first children arrived she and her family welcomed our Oscar into their family. Oscar shares his birthday with Alice's elder sister, Grace, and the girls look upon him as their brother. Louise and Garry and the girls have visited Kenya on a number of occasions and will be back in the summer when Alice will personally deliver the money she has raised to Mama Sue and Papa Dave. Well done Alice.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Cooking contest

In a cooking contest at Happy House two rival teams took over the kitchen to cook up lunches for the whole family. First up were the boys, who, on the first day, cooked up a tasty pasta dish while on day two of the cook-off, the girls team made a delicious curry. Then Mama Sue asked the kids to choose which they thought was the best . She playfully kept Papa's mouth covered so he couldn't influence the judging and the most hands went up for the curry. Even the boys agreed that the girls had triumphed, this time!

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Music makers

Our children at Happy House have some new musical instruments.
The instruments were bought from a local shop.
They are handmade from local materials and the kids will soon get the hang of playing the,.
Brian Hayward and Lucky are on drums, Nixon and Said have a version of guitar and Neema and Esther are playing the shakers.
Presenting the video is Mwende.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Visit to the clinic

Brother and sister, Janet and Evans, who both want to be social workers were joined by Happy House volunteer, Maisie Harley, when they went on a fact finding visit to a local health clinic. They wanted to know more about health issues facing people living in the local community and particularly about what kind of birth control is on offer to local men and women and how they are encouraged to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The knowledge they gained will help them as the forge ahead with their careers.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Beach fun

A trip to the beach is always a great hit with our Happy House kids. And they had ball on their most recent visit when they played in the sea and on the sand. Our video presenter is Rukia.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Art project grows!

Our new art room at Happy House School will have the bright and colourful addition of flower planters.
Some of the children have been busy giving a new life to tin cans which have been discarded by our kitchen.
They have painted them in bright colours and filled them with flowers  ready to put around the art room at school.
They will keep them watered and look after them.
Everyone is thrilled to be having a dedicated art room and wants to help make it beautiful.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Meet Maisie

Meet Maisie Harley, our newest volunteer who has travelled from her home in Scotland to spend a month at Happy House. While she is working with our family Maisie, 21, will have Janet as her buddy. She and Janet are just two months apart in age so are looking forward to spending time together and learning about each other. While Maisie has finished her studies at university, Janet is just about to embark on her own career path by training to be a social worker.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Karibuni Kenya

There was a surprise welcome for Maisie Harley when she few into Malindi airport this week.
Maisie, who has come to volunteer with our family, was greeted by a wonderful welcome by Mama, Papa and some of our children.
She had thought a driver would meet her so to get such a warm and happy welcome was the last thing she was expecting. It was very special for her and for others leaving the arrivals gate at the airport. Karibuni Kenya, Maisie!

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Harvesting bananas

Have you ever wondered how bananas are harvested?
Here Uncle Alex, our Happy House gardener, will show you.
We are lucky to have banana trees on our grounds which provide some of the fruit we give to our children.
All the kids love bananas and they certainly don't get fresher than this!

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Charting growth

Keeping record of each child's development is one of the routine tasks of our social worker, Uncle Ronald, at Happy House.
We need to ensure that each child is developing within the average for their age,  which is important when some of them came into our care having been undernourished or neglected.
It's also part of the requirement made on children's homes in Kenya.
Now Janet has completed school and preparing to start on her studies to become a social worker, Uncle Ronald has her help.
He will be her mentor and by working alongside him she will gain a valuable and unique insight into the work of a social worker.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Thank you Brenda and red

Look at all the lovely things Brenda and Red Groves managed to pack in their luggage for ur Happy House family.
It took Brenda quite a time to unpack in Mama's office and to show her all the things she had collected, bought, made received as donations from freinds and family.
We are very grateful for everything.  Thank you.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Apple bobbing!

 Our youngsters at Happy House put on a great show to welcome our friends Brenda and Red Groves.
It included songs, dance,  a performance of three Billy Goats Gruff , apple-bobbing and cake!
The kids insisted that everyone had a go at bobbing for an apple which left Auntie Brenda  
(who is always a good sport) just a little wet!