Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Marmalade magic

Clever cook Pat Porteus has raised £400 for Happy House by making marmalade.
Pat, from Blackpool, made and sold 215 jars of her tasty toast topper using 36kg of seville oranges.
Pat had help to prepare the fruit from her husband, Brian, and friends Jacqui Veazey and Pam Platt.
She made the marmalade in several batches and sold it to friends, with 60 jars being sold by her butcher, Nigel Wilkinson, of Holmfield Road.
Pat decided to make marmalade for Happy House after meeting Elizabeth Gomm, our UK coordinator,  in their local park and hearing about the work of the charity  from her and also from learning more from two ladies who sponsor Happy House children at an aqua-aerobics class she attends.
Pat said she liked what she heard and knew she could trust that money raised would be used to directly benefit our children.
Elizabeth said: " We are very grateful to Pat for choosing Happy House as the charity to benefit from her marmalade making this year.  
"She puts in so much time and effort into making it and into selling it.
"It tastes delicious so it is not surprising that every jar sells.
"Our thanks Pat and to Brian, Jacqui and Pam for helping and and to Nigel Wilkinson for selling it. Thanks to all her friends who bought jars too.
"Pat raised £350 (after costs)  from sales but decided to make it up to £400, which is so generous of her.
"Mama Sue has decided the money will be used to add four android tablets to enhance our children's education as those we bought already, thanks to donations, are proving so successful in engaging children in educational activities. Each is used by a group of children, so having more will let us reduce the number of children to a group."

*We would like to hear from any friends who might be traveling out to visit Watamu in the coming weeks who would be able to bring out some goods for us. Please email: sue@childrenofwatamu.net"

Tables time

Happy House children have been having fun brushing up on their times tables in the holidays,  but also have some organised activities to help them keep on top of their school work and to brush up on their tables.
Here Rukia tells us more about it.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Betty's birthday treat

 Ice cream and watermelon were a Saturday treat for our children, thanks to our lovely friend Betty Hatch.
Clever shopper Betty, who lives in Essex, not only sponsors Stephano, she also sends out lots of parcels filled with lovely clothes that she finds at bargain prices.  
She never sends a parcel without sending a donation to cover the cost of import duty - which is so very kind.
Betty and her son, Paul, visited Happy House in January 2018 so lots of our kids remember her.
It was her birthday last week, so Betty contacted Sue and asked if she could buy a treat for the children - and was kind donated enough to cover the cost of ice cream and melon all round.
Happy birthday Betty. We wish you many more.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Girls hit the high note

The girls have again hit the high note at Happy House.
They beat the boys in the  singing competition that has become a feature of our weekly Kidz Club.
Our kids all like to sing so it's an enjoyable time for everyone and making it into a competition makes it just a bit more fun.
The judges were  teachers Mr Nickson and Mr Dancun were the judges.
There was lots more signing too with our ever popular Papa Dave taking a star role!

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Farming project

Plants don't stop growing during the holidays and need constant care, as our our agriculture students  at Happy House high school know only too well.
So they have been tending their individual plots during the break, ensuring the crops they are growing are nurtured and nourished produce the best yield they can.
This project is one of the practical elements in agricultural studies for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Fun and games

Action packed programmes of games helps to keep our children active and healthy.
Happy House kids love sports and as Rukia tells us  that when it is a family even its much more about having fun than winners and losers.
On the day they were filmed the kids sorted themselves into teams for a girls v boys tug of war, whilst also enjoying individual races.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Launching a new series

Mama Sue today introduces a ne w of videos covering activities that have been taking place during the school holiday at Happy House 
Our recent series on natural health at Happy House was so popular  we thought it would be good to give you another series of videos based on the school holidays.
Activities include helping at home, e-learning and games.
Our series starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Easter visit for Charity

There were special visitors for Charity this Easter.
Her grandfather and her auntie made the journey to Happy House to see the little girl they love so much but cannot care for.
Charity was a dying baby when she brought to the Happy House by her grandfather.
He had given up all hope of her surviving.
Her single mother had died in childbirth and whilst devastated at the loss of their daughter he and his wife had tried hard to care for the newborn infant.
But unable to find work in a country where if you can’t work you can’t eat, they could not afford to buy milk for the baby and were feeding her a mixture of maize flour and water. Her hair had turned ginger from malnutrition and she was limp and lifeless when, a a few months old, she arrived at the Happy House.
Too weak to cry, Charity just wanted to sleep and the house mums had to wake her and coax her to feed.
She slowly gained strength and within a few weeks she became alert and developed a huge appetite ,
Her grandparents stay in touch, visit when they can,  and on his first visit, a few months after her brought her to us,  her grandfather couldn’t believe she was the same child.
He told Sue: “I gave you a dying child and you have given me a beautiful granddaughter.”
Charity is now nine and thriving in our family and doing well in school.
She is a Happy House miracle.
She was thrilled to see her grandfather and her auntie. It is so important to our children to keep family ties strong where possible.
Grandfather and auntie were given welcome by all the children at Kidz Club.
To support the work of Happy House or to make a donation please visit www.childrenofwatamu.net

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Singing contest

Every week at Kidz Club there's a friendly sing-off between the boys and the girls.
Everyone who follows out blog will know how much our children living at Happy House love to sing and also what good voices they have.
Mama, Papa or a member of staff or visitor are asked to pick the winner, a very difficult task indeed.
This week Uncle Ronnie was asked to be the judge
After a great deal of deliberation, he chose the girls choir as the winner.
Kidz Club also celebrated one birthday - that of Michael who is now four. He received his gift from Janet who is pictured with him.
Happy birthday Michael.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Room of the week award

Oscar's  room took the Room of the Week Award at Kidz Club.
The award at Happy house Children's home in Watamu is an incentive to youngsters living there to keep their rooms and their belongings tidy and in good order.
House aunties mark each room daily and the room accumulating the most marks over the week win a prize.
This week, Oscar and his roomies won a mirror.
The boys are Oscar, Harry, Baraka Mukutano, Brian Zia,  and Khalid.
Well done boys.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Yummy honey

Honey is one of the most ancient foods on our planet and at Happy House we give it to our children daily.
Pure, unadulterated honey, bought straight from the producer who harvests it is used in moringa tea, porridge and with tamarind and ginger to sooth coughs and sore throats.
Mama likes to use homeopathic remedies where possible and we can see in our kids that they are working!

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Veggie good

Tucking into lots of freshly grown vegetables is giving our children a healthy chance in life.
Many of them come to us malnourished  so we have to build them up and make sure that they have all they need to build strong bones and teeth and to promote good heath - inside and out!
We grow lots of vegetables in our garden and buy in what we cannot produce ourselves.
Mama oversees the weekly menus, working with out cook, to ensure that very meal is a healthy one.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Planting moringa

Some of the kids at Happy House have been busy planting more morninga - knowing that with it will come good health.
The health-giving qualities of this amazing tree are well known to local people who use it in cooking to improve their health.
It is also credited with healing qualities and, as Mama told us in yesterday's video, it has some amazing qualities.
Here Sifa, who is helped by Katana, Rose, Stephano and John,  tells us a bit more about their planting session.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Moringa magic

The moringa tree is also known as the tree of life.
It's a real superfood and nothing goes to waste - the leaves, bark and seeds can all be used.
At Happy House the children have moringa tea, made from the fresh leaves, with added honey every day.
And Mama says the kids have glowing skin, healthy hair, bones and nails as a result.
Here she tells us how else it is used at Happy House.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Growing good health!

We grow happy and healthy kids at Happy House!
They are energetic, active and always on the go even now when temperatures are soaring in the days and weeks leading up to the rainy season.
And while we used to buy multi-vitamins for the children, we no longer need to.
Health conscious Mama has been learning a lot about the health giving qualities of indigenous plants and fruits.
By including this local produce in their diet on a regular basis the children are positively glowing with health.
Today, Mama talks about paw-paw (also known as papaya.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Family time

Kidz Club is a special time of the week at Happy House.
That because it is the time when all the family gathers together to exchange their news, celebrate birthdays and to have a good old singalong.
This week, head teacher Mr Isaac was a welcome visitor to Kidz Club.
It was a gathering full of laughter and with everyone in very good spirits.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Getting ready for the rains

The rains are on their way and Happy House gardeners are getting the crops planted.
Uncles Alex and Julius are work together as a team to prepare and plant the seed beds.
The vegetables grown in the garden will all be used to help feed our hungry Happy House kids.
In Kenya, the rains bring great joy as they quench the thirsty ground and promote the growth of so many crops.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Holiday fun

It's school holidays for our children at Happy House  and everyone is enjoying the break.
Holidays are a time when the kids have plenty of time to relax and play, but they also enjoy organised activities.
Here Evans, one of our oldest boys, tells us how they have organised a rota for the kids to help out around the house and gardens and of how they are also catching up on homework and having fun learning with the educational games on the iPads we bought recently. 

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Best room for Brian and co

Room captain Brian is very proud  of his younger room mates.
Their combined efforts to follow his example in keeping their room at Happy House  neat and tidy won them the Room of the Week Award.
The boys won a mirror for their room which was presented to the by Papa Dave.
In this video Brian, Saidi, Baraka and Brian say hello and give you a glimpse of their room.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Laboratory is an absolute asset

Students are more enthusiastic about science and more likely to want to study it seriously because of our laboratory at Happy House School.
The laboratory, funded by Blackpool Soroptimists, is in constant use in term time and a huge asset to our school.
Today, science teacher Mr Paul gives an update on its use.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Big year for top class

This is a huge year for Form Four students at Happy House High School, Watamu.
They will be the first group of students to complete their  high school education at Happy House when they take their Kenya Certificate of  Secondary Education at the ed of the year.
Most of the students are on free place scholarships, kids who without Happy House, would not even have completed their primary schooling because of the challenges facing their parents or guardians.
These kids are now full of hopes and aspirations.
Their form teacher, Mr Nickson gives us an update of their progress at the end of the first term of the year.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

End of term update

Happy House Primary school, Watamu, won top school in the zone for 2018 - a huge accolade and something we are very proud of.
But we also have to maintain the high standards that we we set and  encourage our students to achieve the goals they are set. 
Today, Mr Khamisi brings us an update on the first term of the new academic year.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Let us entertain you

With songs, dances, playlets and more our students at Happy House School put on a great show for parents/guardians, fellow students, staff and friends at our end of term closing day.
With their unrivalled enthusiasm, each child put their all into their part of the show.
It was a happy and lively event, enjoyed by all who attended and a wonderful celebration of success.
Have a great holiday kids, and come back ready and refreshed for another busy term.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Celebrating success

The end of term closing day at Happy House school was a celebration of success.
Certificates were presented the youngsters for top  and improved performances and Best Class trophies presented.
Class Eight won the best class award in the upper primary section with Class 2 receiving the trophy for the best class and the improved overall performance in lower primary. 
In the High school section Form 1 took the top class award with Form 3 the most improved.
Awards were presented by our charity founder, Mama Sue.
Pictured are: Top HS form1, below HS Form 3; bottom left: Primary Class 2 and right,  Primary Class 8
These videos feature end of term performance by our Happy House senior choir and a primary poem about being a Happy House child.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Happy House Tales: Teaching is also learning

In our final Happy House tales series we hear from teacher Mr Kahmisi.
He tells how working for Mama Sue at Happy House School has taught him much.
That it has broadened his outlook on the world of work and the also on his subject.
He has become a better person, and a better teacher, since becoming one of the family at Happy House.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Happy House scoops top awards

 Happy House School has scooped double honours in the District education awards.
It won trophies for being the best school in the zone for the last academic year and also best private school of the year.
That means it has outperformed every other school in the Watamu zone.
Four of our teachers were also honoured with being top of the zone in their subject fields and we had a number of students who also came top for their examination results,
It's a huge accolade for our school and everyone who work so hard to make it the best.
At the Easter term closing day ceremony, our headteacher Mr Isaac announced the results and he and our Mama Sue proudly showed off the trophies to the gathering of students, staff, parents/guardians and friends.
Closing Day , which marks the end of a busy term, opened with the flag raising ceremony conducted by our scout group and with a prayer led by Mama Sue.
There was also entertainment by students, presentation of certificates  and speeches.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Birthday party for Papa

The Happy House family put on an extra special birthday party for its beloved Papa Dave.
Mama and the family surprised him with a birthday party to celebrate his special day.
There was singing dancing, Papa's Leeds Army went Marching on Together,  an acrobatics display, apple bobbing, games, dancing and cake.
There were giant cards, a speech in his honour from Mama who spoke about his love, loyalty and support of how much he always did for her but also for the whole family.
Papa thanked everyone for joining him at his party!
It was a very happy time for Papa and a chance for the family, kids and staff,  to show him just how much he is loved.
An album of pictures from Papa's Party is posted on our newlook Facebook page  :https://www.facebook.com/happyhousewatamu/

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Victor settles in and Happy Birthday Papa

Happy and smiling, baby Victor bounces on Mama Sue's lap, eager to stand up and test his little legs.
He is our newest Happy House kid.
 He arrived on March 7, having been found abandoned in Malindi.
Children's Services asked Happy House to give him a home and, as Mama says, there is always room for another.
Estimated to be several months old he has been given October 20 - Kenya Heroes Day- as his birth date.
Amanda and Mark Barron, who so generously funded our computer suite, were asked to choose a name for him. They chose Victor which was the name of Mark's grandfather - so he is Victor Barron Hayward.
Harry, Emmanuel, Brian with Victor, Elizabeth, David and Esther.
All foundlings are in the legal guardianship of Mama and Papa and take the Hayward surname.
He is the 7th Happy House Hayward joining Harry, Brian, David, Esther, Elizabeth Anne and Emmanuel.
Here Mama gives us an update on Victor's progress.
We alway need new child sponsors for our Happy House kids It costs £20 a month to change a life.  
Please email elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net for more details.

Birthday Greetings, Papa Dave

Today is Papa's birthday.
He is Mama's love, her rock and her constant support. As she has said, so many times, "He is the wind beneath my wings".
When the road gets rough, he is the one to guide her along it, smoothing the way.
In the nine years they have lived in Kenya, he has become a popular figure in the area and well known for his negotiating skills and his passion for football - Leeds especially!
At Happy House he has his own little army of kids "marching on together" to his club's anthem.
Today, we wonder, will they change their tune for a Happy Birthday song?
We, your friends from the world over, have much pleasure, Papa, in sending you our very best wishes for a very happy day, and many returns.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Exam results clinics

 Mama Sue started the week at Happy House School with an assembly talk about examination results.
The students have recently taken their end of term exams and Mama goes through every one, comparing them with previous performances.
This week she and Uncle Ronald, our social worker, hold clinics when they are joined by form teachers and small groups of pupils.
They talk to each child about their results so they can discuss what they are struggling with and how they can do better.
Mama also mentions  an Environmental Report which followed a recent inspection in which our school was given an outstanding 90% - the first time the very experienced inspector has ever issued such a high result.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Win for Diana's room

Diana's room came top in the Room of the Week award at  Happy House.
Room Captain Diana and the girls she shares with were presented with a mirror for the room they have been keeping so spick and span.
The competition is an an incentive to the kids to keep their rooms looking nice and their belongings in order
House aunties check rooms every day and mark them.
It's all good good fun and the children look forward to Kidz Club when the winners are announced.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Happy House tales: Brothers bound by love

Baraka and Brian are brothers bound by love, not blood.
They are members of our big and loving family at Happy House.
The two youngsters, both with different stories, but who were in need of a safe home, have learnt much since they joined our family.
They have grown from children into young men, with the guidance of Mama Sue and Papa Dave, their role models.  
Here they talk a little about Happy house has taught them.