Thursday, 28 February 2019

Thank you Saltdean Primary

Some of our children at Happy House have  have formed penpal friendships with pupils at Saltdean Primary School, near Brighton.
This came about because Marc and Thalia Venturi have been coming to visit for many years, often with their daughter Emma and son, Joe.
Emma is now a Class 4 teacher at Saltdean Primary and suggested some of the children exchange letters.
Her parents have been visiting Happy House with her brother and their cousin, and she brought with them letters and friendship bracelets from some of the youngsters from Saltdean.
So it was with great pleasure that our children presented Thalia with bracelets and letters for her to take back to their friends.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Room of the week award

There is great excitement when Mama announces the winners of the  Room of the Week Award at Happy house Kidz Club.
Every group of children wants it to be there room captain's name that is called out.
The winning room receives a mirror for use in their room.
The competition is a great incentive to children to keep their rooms neat and tidy and belongings well organised.
Rooms are inspected and marked every day, so it's not just a weekly look around.
This week there was a win for the girls, when Janet and her room mates were declared winners.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Learn as you play

With 10 iPads being used by children at Happy House to aid their learning in many areas, Mama Sue is eager for all teachers to understand why they are important.
She brought the teachers together so she could explain that new technology was bringing new opportunities to stimulate and engage young minds.
The iPads have been loaded with educational resources - games and activities to improve spelling, reading, colour and shape awareness, vocabulary, maths and telling the time.
She invited the teachers to go round each group of children  so the kids could show them what they are learning.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Planting project

Our gardener Alex is busy planting up the newly created borders around compound at Happy House School.
He and his helpers are dividing shrubs and plants from Happy House and also from the garden at  Mama and Papa's home to use at school.
The  walls around  the raised borders will contain the topsoil and help provide a good drainage system for the plants.
It will all look very colourful when the plants mature.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Acts of kindness; Husna

We asked our children at Happy House what they saw as an act of kindness.
Husna talks about home visits to her grandmother.
She speaks fondly of the many things her grandmother has taught her, the stories she tells and of the love she has for Husna and her brother Hussein. 

Saturday, 23 February 2019

The way to learn

With iPads introduced to the children living at Happy House, Mama Sue wanted to make sure teaching staff from school  fully understood the reason for introducing them to our family at home.
She also explained how they would be used and that they were strictly for educational purposes and aimed to motivate the youngsters to learn whilst having fun at the same time.
The children then illustrated to them the educational activities and games helping them improve their skills in numbers, grammar and much more, depending on their age/.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Security cameras installed

We now have a full security system at Happy House School.
As we old you in Monday's video, Mama Sue felt it necessary to increase measures to our security staff (askaris) safe when they are guarding the premise.
Vehicles seen hanging around recently had made them feel vulnerable and with news of our new computer suite spreading through the area, it could be a target.
So in addition to the wall, topped by an electric fence and steel gates, Mama has employed G4S first response to bring in immediate armed support in a crisis, she also had security cameras covering the while site installed.
The computer suite already has tight security of its own but any measures to ensure our staff and property is kept safe is a responsibility that Mama and our charity takes very seriously indeed.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Learning with iPads

Children living in our care at Happy House now have some new learning companions.
Mama Sue had observed how some youngsters who find it hard to sit still and apply themselves to, say, reading a book would be totally absorbed when she let them play an educational game on her iPad.
And as we are at the the forefront of harness the latest technology in our school, she decided to invest in 10 small iPads for use at by kids living at home with us.
Mr Omoi, our webmaster and IT man,  downloaded educational activities and games on to each one,  the children were divided into groups each with an older child as supervisor, and rules for use explained by Mama.
The iPads were then given out, with the group supervisors, taking charge of them.
Mama chose this week because it is half term and a chance to see how they are being used.
She explained to the children how lucky they are to have such wonderful resources and to remember that this was only because of the kindness of their sponsors and our other wonderful supporters.
*The Happy House lounge looks decidedly bare in this video because the curtains were down being washed as was the rug.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Room at the top

After a break from weekly competition, Mama has reintroduced the Room of the Week Award to  Happy House.
The room share with the tidiest and best kept bedroom will win a mirror for their room.
In our previous awards there was a wall clock as a prize, and every room managed to win one.
Now the competition is back on and rooms are being marked each day with points given for specific areas - lockers, beds, shoes, cleanliness etc.
The first room to win a mirror was a boys' room captained by Evans. His room mates are Baraka, Nickson, Levian and Lucky.
They were delighted to accept their prize from Mama - and to show off a bit of Boy Power to the girls.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Beach fun

 The Happy House family started the half-term break with a trip to the beach to have some fun in the sun.
They set off early morning on Saturday, before the sun became too intense, and enjoyed games on the beach and a splash around in the Indian ocean.
Mama, Papa and the kids were joined by Anita Patel and her mum, Raksha, who are visiting from the USA.
The older children helped to keep an eye on the little ones , to organise games and to give out snacks and drinks.
The kids had a great time and once they were dried off they set off on the walk home in time to have a shower and change before  lunch.
*Mama mentions our tenth anniversary, that's a little bit of slip as  it's our ninth this year, but Mama is so busy that time flies faster for her than for for most of us so entirely understandable!

Monday, 18 February 2019

Keeping things safe

Security has been increased at Happy House School to ensure all is kept safe.
From now on G4S security will be on standby to deal with any incidents that may cause concern.
There have been reports of some vehicles being around at night since our new computer suite was completed.
We already have askari on duty at night, plus an electric fence, to deter any potential thieves but Mama Sue wants to made sure that all is well, so G4S are being employed and security cameras installed.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Acts of Kindness:John

Today one of our older boys, John, talks about acts of kindness.
He and his two younger siblings have been members of our Happy House family since 2016.
At the time they were in a rescue centre following family tragedy and desperate for a proper home where they would safe and loved. 
They found that at our Happy house where John has learned so much about caring, and kindness from his Mama Sue.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Mid-term tests

This week has been exam time at Happy House School.
The mid-term examinations are a good indication of how the students have settled in to their new classes as this is the first term of the academic year.
Everyone has been revising hard and we look forward to some good results.
Good luck kids.

Friday, 15 February 2019

School grounds get a new finish

 The strong breeze that blows through the grounds of Happy House School grounds whipping up dust.
So Mama Sue has called on our friendly builder Carlos to help solve the problem.
The plan is to have a grass area for the children to play on, and then areas of compacted hardcore and stone chippings for assemblies, parking etc. Plus there will more raised flower borders to give a flourishing floral finish.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Top talkers win through

Three Happy House primary school debaters, Rukia, Savanna and Quincy won through to the third level of an inter-schools debating competition.
The teams at the contest, hosted by Happy House, were Happy House and Gede Angels combined versus Kanani and Jacaranda primary combined. 
The topic under debate was Boarding schools are better than day schools, which we opposed.
Rukia was in first place with Quincy second and Savanna third.
Well done kids.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Catwalk kids

 Looking every inch model kids our children took to the catwalk with ease.
They  were putting on a show for  America visitors Anita Patel and her mum, Raksha, who had travelled from New York.
Many of the clothes modelled were those brought by Anita and Raksha and Mama Sue thought it would nice for them to see our Happy House kids model them.
The children also displayed their talents by performing short plays. singing and dancing.
David won the dancing competition.
They had pineapple and biscuits for treats.
As John is turning 17, Mama presented him with his birthday gifts.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

With love from the USA

Anita Patel and her mum, Raksha, arrived at Happy House with their hearts full of love for our kids - and a case full of clothes to give them!
Anita and Raksha are from New York where Anita works as a teacher in the Bronx district.
They have visited Happy House before and vowed to come back because they loved it.
Mama decided to surprise our guests by laying on some special entertainment at Kidz Club, including a fashion parade featuring the clothes they brought with them.
The kids took to the catwalk with confidence and loved every minute - as we will show you in a video on tomorrow's blog.
For today we have  the kids getting the seats ready for the show and Mama Sue's welcome to Anita and Raksha.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Meet the teachers

Today, we join Mama Sue at one of her weekly meetings with teachers at our Happy House School.
Mama, founder of our charity, has a busy life running both the Happy House Children's Home and its schools.
While staff can, and do, go to her at any time with a question, idea, or problem,  the weekly staff meetings are a chance to share  and discuss topics affecting school, students and staff as a collective.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Act of Kindness: Stephano's view

For Stephano, 14, being loved, cared for and educated at Happy House is the greatest act of kindness.
He an his younger siblings had experienced extreme hardship and neglect following the death of their mum, and coming to live at Children of Watamu Happy House  in 2015 changed their lives.
In four years,  Stephano has discovered just how great school can be with teachers to encourage him and bring him on. Maths is his favourite subject.
Here he talks acts of kindness and says thank you.
Apologies for the wind noise at the start of the video.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Cover story

On Monday, we told you how we were planning to combat the problem of dust in the new computer suite at Happy house School.
Less than a week later, the curtains and computer covers are complete and in place.
One of Happy House  aunties, Constance, who is a trained machinist, has made all the pieces needed from material previously used as bed spreads and not longer in use.
At Happy House, nothing is ever thrown away if it still usable.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Making things last

At Happy House everything we have comes from the kindness of others and we are constantly aware of the sacrifices made in order to give to our charity and support our family.
So Mama Sue believes it is an absolute duty to ensure that everything is looked after, kept in good repair and regularly maintained.
Today, Ibrahim, who works in our maintenance department, explains how he is currently refurbishing the electric fencing around our building - a key to the security of our family.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Meet the aunties

Once a week, Mama meets with members of each department at the Happy House - aunties, outdoors and maintenance, and teaching staff,
These meetings give everyone a chance to give updates, discuss any problems and to look ahead,
Today we and Auntie Rose as they meet with the aunties.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Birthday six at Kidz Club

There was a special visitor to Kidz Club when Carol Sohier, Aunty Carol to our kids, called in to say hello.
Aunty Carol, who lives in Jersey, is a good friend to Happy House and enjoys catching up with the family every time she visits Watamu.
There was a singing contest when the boys took on the girls.
Aunty Carol was asked to take on the difficult task of judging, declaring the girls the overall winners!
There were lots of birthdays to celebrate, with each birthday child receiving gifts and greetings.
The birthday children were: Khalid, 13, Esther, seven, Katana, 14, Nickson, six Rose, nine,  and Edward, nine.
Birthday kids are pictured: Top left: Rose and Aunty Carol, top right: Aunty Carol and Nickson; Middle row left:  Katana with aunty Carol;  right: Auntie Carol and Esther; bottom row left: Mama and  Edward and right: Papa with Khalid. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Revision just got easier

Visitors to the Happy House from England, Angela Lewis and David Paris, very kindly made a donation while they were there.
After talking with Mama Sue, they agreed that it would be nice if it could be spent on books for our children in Happy House School.
Each child in Primary Classes 6 to 8 now has revisions books which will be a huge help in their preparation for the KCPE exams at the end of Year Eight.
If you would like to make a donation to help make life brighter for children in our care please go to

Monday, 4 February 2019

Dust busters

The hot, dry, climate makes keeping things dust-free at Happy House very difficult indeed,
Despite the finest mesh screens on our windows in the computer suite at school, the tiny specks are getting through.
So Mama Sue decided that material from end spreads, no long being used, should be turned into curtains for each of the windows in the suite.
There is also enough to make covers for each of the computers.
This will not only cut down on the dust, it will also look very nice too.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Our Act of Kindness

Acts of kindness come in many forms.
Mama Sue and Papa Dave had done many things in their lives before finding themselves in Kenya on holiday in 2000, and finding a cause they wanted to help - to alleviate the suffering of needy children.
Since then their story has led them to their setting up a charity, building the Happy House children's home and schools, and moving to live permanently in Kenya.
Mama Sue leads the charity and its development, with Papa at her side - her support, her counsel and her love.
Today, Mama talks about the Act of Kindness that changed her life.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Inter school debate

 Happy House School hosted an inter-school debate between our school and Gede Angels Academy .
The Academy is one of the school in the educational cluster that we are in.
The subject was: Technology has brought more harm than good?
The Happy House team has the task of opposing the motion. 
In this video,  class eight student Rukia  puts forward a convincing case for technology, citing examples of how it enhances lives.
At the end of the debate, Happy House came out as winners with a score of 66 points against the opponent school who scored 59 points.
Well done Happy House.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Internet research for students

Having internet access in our new computer suite at Happy House School makes education so exciting for for our students and staff.
They can harness the wealth of information available on the internet to research their subjects, enhancing and adding to that in their text books.
In this video, Mr Nickson talks about the research project he had set for his secondary students on land reclamation.