Thursday, 31 December 2020

The tale of the disappearing baby Jesus

Today, as we continue our videos of Christmas at the Happy House, Mama Sue brings you a thank you from our family.

She also tells us the tale of the Nativity Play That Went Wrong! In a video, recorded on Boxing Day, Mama thanks everyone who donated or sent parcels to make Christmas so special for our children in a year that has been so difficult for everyone. Without you, our friends, our family would not exist and we are forever grateful.



Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Christmas fun, food and thanks

Food, fun and thanks! Our children at Happy House, who all coming from backgrounds of tragedy, extreme poverty or neglect, don't take anything for granted. They love and respect all those, world over, who support the Mama Sue and the work of her charity, Children of Watamu, and, closer to home, those who help them to have such a lovely life. And Uncle Foleni, who is one of our cooks, is always popular and never more so than at Christmas. It was he who cooked up the delicious chicken pilau that was served for lunch, as Husna tells us.



Christmas lunch is served

Serving lunch to a family of sixty takes many hands And with a willing and organised team all went smoothly at our Happy House party at Mama and Papa's home. The children were served chicken pilau followed by desserts, which included trifle and cake, by a neatly-turned out group of our old kids. Thank you to them all for doing so well.



Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Along came a second Santa

After a very fine job of being Santa, three year old Emmanuel was ready hang up his robe and beard, and to meet a bigger version of the man in red! A good friend, David Paris, who visiting Watamu took on the role of Santa at the last minute - delivering goody bags of sweets and treats to each of our Happy House children. David and his friend, Angela Lewis, are lovely people and do so much to help our family. We were delighted they were able to join in our festive fun.



Oh-Oh it's Santa!

A visit from Santa is always the highlight of Christmas for children the world over. But this year with our regular Happy House Santa (also known as Peter Reid) grounded by Covid-19 restrictions, the Happy House improvised with a homegrown understudy. And he could also be the smallest of any Santa to make deliveries. Three-year-old Emmanuel, known to all the family as Oh-Oh, stood in for the main man. Wearing his own Santa suit and beard, made at Happy House,Oh-Oh was assisted by Mama Sue. Each room of children was given a radio this Christmas, along with a memory stick, so they could enjoy music in their rooms. We couldn't run to our usual gift of clothes for every child this year, because with fewer visitors travelling to Watamu because of the pandemic, we have not received the wonderful gifts of clothing and essentials that so many of friends bring. The children understood completely when Mama had explained that our storeroom was depleted, and she and Papa decided on radios along with the memory sticks ( on locally made keyrings) for each room. It was a very happy day, with Oh-Oh ( called that because it's his catchphrase!) doing a grand job for the first Santa call of the day




Monday, 28 December 2020

Guess who is coming to town?

There was a big welcome for a special guest when he came to call on our family. And this song, sung beautifully by some of our Happy House girls, will give you a clue to his identity!



Sunday, 27 December 2020

We're ready to party

 

​All dressed in their best, our Happy House children were so excited to be going to spend Christmas at home with Mama Sue and Papa Dave.

They had taken care in getting ready, and were organised into groups to be transported  by mini-bus.

Here we meet Florence with the first happy group ready to party!




A Happy House Christmas

Christmas was a busy one for Mama Sue, Papa Dave and their willing team of young helpers. Mama and Papa were hosting the party day for their family of Happy House kids at their home, instead of being at Happy House. And that meant lots of preparation - shopping, food preparation, cooking and serving. The children, as usual, chose their main course and it was everyone's favourite - chicken pilau. Here, speaking from her home on Christmas Day, Mama sets the scene.
 Each day, for the next few days, we will bring you another glimpse of our very special festive day - and watch out for two blogs some days!



Saturday, 26 December 2020

New and traditional for Happy House Christmas

Our children from happy House celebrated Christmas in a new way this year, with a party at the home of Mama Sue and Papa Dave.

After most of the year in lockdown at Happy House, Mama Sue and Papa Dave thought inviting the children to their home would make a nice change.

The children put on a show which included this traditional Christmas song by Dull and his group of boys.

It was recorded in rehearsal.




Friday, 25 December 2020

In the hearts of Happy House

Christmas Day dawns to the great excitement of our children at Happy House.

They will be celebrating as a family, with one or two of our good friends who are visiting Watamu, at Mama and Papa's home.

They are well aware of how , in the last week, Christmas has become even more difficult than it already was for many families in the UK and Europe, as a new variant of the virus that has dominated 2020 has emerged.

They will be thinking of you today, especially those friends who support us so loyally and who sponsor our children.

 In a lovely video wishing you a happy Christmas from the Happy House, Husna has a special Christmas message for all our wonderful friends.

Our children know it is your support for the work of Mama Sue and our charity, that gives  them a worry-free childhood full of love, hope and opportunity.

They love you as much as you love them.

Happy Christmas


Thursday, 24 December 2020

Sason's greetings

Four very happy kids from Happy House are hoping to bring you a smile with their Christmas greetings. Brian, Fahima, Joyce and Natasha will be celebrating with Mama Sue, Papa Dave and all our very big family. But having been in lockdown as a family for much of the year, they also know that for other people, in other parts of the world, celebrating Christmas with all their family and friends will not be possible because of Covid19 restrictions. So they want to cheer you up!




Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Putting on the Christmas style

Our girls at Happy House will be looking their very best on Christmas Day after a trip out to have their hair braided. It's a treat to have their braiding done for them, they usually do each others, but at the weekend after unpicking their plaiting (a time consuming job) and washing their hair they were able to visit local salons as Priscilla tells us.




Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Sad news from "Radio" Watamu

An end of term assembly at Happy House School, and a final broadcast of the year from Radio Watamu - our own Papa Dave! Mama Sue asked the children to treat him gently as he relayed the weekend's soccer scores because he'd suffered a serious disappointment. With his own team Leeds beaten 6-1 by Manchester United there was little festive cheer from the terraces for poor old Papa!





Monday, 21 December 2020

Yuletide rock

Our kids at Happy House will be rocking around the Christmas tree this year! 

Some of them will be dancing to rock'n' roll favourites at their Christmas party and show.

Here we see a few moves in action, choreographed by John. 



Sunday, 20 December 2020

Wishing you a merry Christmas

Some of the older members of our family are today wishing you a merry Christmas in song. Jacinta introduces the video which was filmed at their rehearsals for their Christmas show.



Saturday, 19 December 2020

Here we come a carolling

Today it is the turn of Mwende and her group of Happy House kids who are letting us have a glimpse of the songs they are practising for Christmas day.

All the children at Happy House will have some part in the entertainment which such a special feature of their day and very important part in the build up to Christmas.



Friday, 18 December 2020

A festive twist

Our kids at Happy House are saving lots of fun rehearsing their entertainment for Christmas. Putting on a show is a highlight of our festivities which, this year, Mama and Papa are making extra special by hosting the party at their home. Here some of the kids have been learning to dance the twist - which we hope we Youtube will allow us to share with you.



Thursday, 17 December 2020

Christmas splendour

Children at the Happy House have been making lovely mobiles to decorate for Christmas. With Janet supervising, the younger children have been working hard to make wonderful and colourful creations to hang in the banda at Mama and Papa''s home where they will be celebrating Christmas. Using craft papers and equipment so kindly donated by our friends, with a few extras bought locally by Papa, they have come up with decorations more special than any you could buy!



Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Trip to the dentist

Husna is feeling much better after a trip to the dentist.

When she told Mama she was in pain with  a tooth, a trip was arranged straight away.

The dentist removed the tooth, which was growing where it shouldn't have been, and now Husna is feeling fine again.

With no free healthcare in Kenya, it came at a cost. £15, which is a lot of money there.



Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Mama and Papa turn the tables

Class Four, Mama noticed from exam results, have fallen behind with their times tables. She and Papa insist children in Happy House have a good grounding in maths and mental arithmetic and see multiplication tables as one of the foundations they an lay. So together, they hosted a tables workshop with Class Four at Happy House School as a refresher exercise that was fun too.




Monday, 14 December 2020

Creative for Christmas

Nothing goes to waste in Kenya. And using imagination to repurpose something that would be thrown away comes as second nature. We have large bandas to decorate for our Happy House family Christmas and that calls for some large decorations. John has been making some stunning ones from old plastic water flagons - using scissors and paint. And when Christmas is over they can be stored away ready to bring out in 2012.



Sunday, 13 December 2020

Let them shine ...

Another glimpse of preparations for Christmas with the song and dance troupe being coached by Rukia. These little ones are having a great time and what shining stars they are!



Saturday, 12 December 2020

Jolly good show!

Super-dancer John is now turning his hand at choreography as he rehearses some of the younger boys in a dance for Christmas. 

It is, indeed, the season to be jolly.


 

Friday, 11 December 2020

Christmas helper

Today, Florence presents our video giving us a little hint of what the children are doing to get ready at Happy House. As one of the older children she is very much involved in helping the younger children whether it’s making decorations or rehearsing for their festive entertainment.



Thursday, 10 December 2020

Join us as we get ready for Christmas

​With Christmas just two weeks away, the excitement is building at Happy House. Mama and Papa are planning to make it as special as it can be by hosting a party for all the children by having a party for them in the garden at their house. And the build-up is all part of the fun so we want to involve YOU by bringing you videos of the family getting ready for Christmas as Mama Sue invites you to join us in our preparations.



Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Football head to head

More football talk today from two of our Happy House football fans, Priscilla and Vidzo.

There’s a North-South divide between the two girls with Priscilla supporting Manchester United while Vidzo is a keen fan of London club, Chelsea.

Priscilla’s favourite player is forward, Marcus Rashford, and Vidzo rates Chelsea goalie Edouard Mendy.






Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Rooting for the Gunners

Happy House kid Diana had her fingers crossed for Arsenal when they met Tottenham for a Premier League London Derby on Sunday.
Diana, 13, is a huge fan of Arsenal and knows a thing or two about them,
Her top team, she follows them closely and would like to see the Gunners blazing a trail to success this season.





Monday, 7 December 2020

How our garden grows

In the garden tended by our young gardeners at Happy House everything is growing well. And part of the pleasure for the kids is being able to harvest their own crops. Right now, as Edward tells us, they are cutting the maize they have grown from seed. It will go into the kitchen and then on to table for everyone to enjoy.



Sunday, 6 December 2020

Our shining star

David will be 10 on December 20, but as he's a special little boy with big ideas, we'll let him off him saying he's 11! Named after our own Papa Dave, he is a champion child who has overcome one obstacle after another since he was abandoned in hospital by his mother when he was only a few days old. Happy House, contacted by the hospital, supported him while he was there and were over5joyed when, in February 2011, he was well enough to come home to our family. Mama Sue, worried he was not progressing as a baby should, took him to one doctor after another and when he was 11 months she took him to a specialist centre in Kilifi where she was told he would not amount to anything and to "take him home and love him". We did much more than give him love, sought expert advice, put a programme of three -times daily exercises into practice, and our whole family, kids and adults, encourage him always. David is such a confident and happy boy, who tries hard in school and always gives 100 per cent in effort. Born five days before Christmas, he is our special shining star. www.childrenofwatamu.net



Saturday, 5 December 2020

Sportsview

Soccer is the only sport our Happy House kids really want to talk about. I this video, made last weekend, Brian, Charity, Greg tell you about their top teams - not that they share a view! Papa Dave will be disappointed that none of them chose his team, Leeds United!



Friday, 4 December 2020

Group discussion

Happy House kids are brought up to love, respect, care and help each other. So if one youngster is struggling in anyway, there is always someone on hand to help them. And that also applies to school work, and that is where group discussions come into play with those who are strong in a particular subject helping those for whom it may be more challenging.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Certificate presentation

Youngsters from the Happy House who topped the quizzes set for them as some pre-exam revision all received a certificate. Mr Khamisi presented the certificates to the children We hope they will all do well in their end of term examinations taking place this week.



Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Quiz time

With exams this week, our Happy House children have been brushing up on their knowledge.
 Teachers set quizzes for children to make revising fun. It's a great way to help them be the best that they can be.Here Mr Khamisi tells us more.

 


Tuesday, 1 December 2020

More cameras go in place

Security is always a top priority and Mama Sue has decided to add more cameras to ensure that the Happy House is covered in all areas. CCTV ensures that our family is safe all day and night, plus we have a a very high wall around the entire site and askari on duty. Mama said there have been no problems, she just thought that since the system could take more cameras it would be good to have them. We can never be too safe!



Monday, 30 November 2020

Samira settles in

Samira is the newest member of our family at Happy House children's home. And the 12-year-old, who had problems at home, is putting her troubles behind her and and enjoying being a child within a big and loving family. Samira loves being in our school and has settled well into her new life.



Sunday, 29 November 2020

Emmanuel sings

Three year old Emmanuel is growing up to be a happy and confident little boy. He's quite happy to stand in front of the whole Happy House family to sing a song and loves it when they all join in!




Saturday, 28 November 2020

Happy to be "home"


Our children from Happy House love to see old friends returning to visit them time and time again. Many of them have grown up knowing DawnHeather White, a frequent visitor from Northern Ireland. DawnHeather hasn't let the pandemic stop her travelling back to Watamu for a few weeks of winter sunshine - that provided by our children as well as nature! Indeed she's been helping them to get ready for Christmas too!



Friday, 27 November 2020

Charity is on the mend

​Football casualty Charity is on the mend. Charity came a cropper when she fell badly on her arm during a game of soccer at the Happy House.

A trip to hospital in Malindi confirmed a break and she's had her arm in plaster for a few weeks.

She's feeling fine and on the mend and, as she tells us here, the messages written on her plaster cast also make her feel much loved by all the Happy House family.



Thursday, 26 November 2020

Thank you to St Aidan's

The wonderful family at St Aidan's C of E High School, Preesall, Lancashire, is bringing Christmas cheer to our family at Happy House.

 Mrs Joanne Rossall and her 7D year group are selling cute Christmas cuddly toys to raise money for our charity.

Mrs Rossall, St Aidan's and students have been friends and generous supporters of Happy House for the 10 years since it opened.

Both its founder, Sue Hayward, and, since Sue is now based at the Happy House, its UK coordinator, Elizabeth Gomm, have been in to talk to the school or year groups on many occasions.

Every Christmas, Mrs Rossall comes up with a novel way of raising money and the Christmas characters are selling faster that Santa can say "jingle bells! "

She said: I am blown away by the support the Happy House has been given through the selling of these toys. Thank you so much to everyone who is supporting us.

"Last year we sold 150, this year I have already sold 300 and will take delivery of 170 more on Monday."

At Happy House, Mama Sue likes the children to know how hard people , from around the world, work to support them and, of course, to say thank you. 

Our children made this video, especially for  their friends at St Aidan's.

Huge thanks to our Fairy Godmother, Mrs Rossall, her 7D troop of happy helpers and to the school family and friends who are supporting them.

We truly appreciate your kindness.



Wednesday, 25 November 2020

And the winner is

We hope you've enjoyed watching the Happy House Smoothie Challenge. Today, we come to the final day and the announcement of the winner. Mama Sue, who set the challenge, and Evans are the judges and they go through each of the team presentations to evaluate their efforts before revealing their choice for top place.



Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Beet this

Need fibre, follically challenged or yearning for a flat tummy? 

Our young health investigators taking part in the Smoothie Challenge at Happy Happy have found a vegetable may just help with all of these. 

Mama Sue set the children living at Happy House the task of coming up with a smoothie recipe and making a presentation about the health benefits of its content. 

Here Oscar, Morphin, Erick and Edward tell us why they put beetroot as their main ingredient.





Monday, 23 November 2020

A smoothie to make you smile

There are lots of laughs in this presentation by Johnny and his team of smoothie operators.Jonny has Thomas, Lucky, Daudi and Stevie as his partners.They have been busy looking into the powers of papaya, avocado, banana, milk and honey ... their choice of ingredients for a perfect smoothie.



Sunday, 22 November 2020

The Banana Smoothie cafe

Y
ou will want to make a beeline for the Banana Smoothie CafĂ© after watching this presentation by Happy House kids taking part in Mama Sue’s Smoothie Challenge.
Priscilla is joined on her team by brothers and sisters Emmanuel, Brian, Vidzo, Ludwin, Lesley and Joyce.
Together the children put the case for their choice of smoothie to give you the feel-good factor!



Saturday, 21 November 2020

Aah apples!

​An apple a day ...add a banana and some milk and you have a tasty smoothie.But as well as tasting good, it does you good and can help regulate your blood pressure and build your bones.That's according to the findings of our three Happy House researchers - Rukia, Rehema and Harry for the Smoothie Challenge. So please accept their invitation to sit back and enjoy their presentation.



Friday, 20 November 2020

Strawberries unlimited

Strawberries unlimited is the promise for those who back Husna’s team in the Happy House kids Smoothie Challenge.
Husna, who is joined Michael, Neema and Fahima , have been looking into the goodness provided by strawberries and banana – their choice for a smoothie.
Their combination , they say, will work wonders for all kinds of ailments and is perfect if you need to loose weight!


Thursday, 19 November 2020

Making the most of mango

Delicious mango has all kinds of health benefits, according the research by the first team of youngsters taking part in the Happy House Smoothie Challenge.

The youngsters who are making this presentation to the judges and the res of the family are also using their imagination pretending to be a team from the United States.
They are doctors Florence, Elizabeth, Abdul and Natasha.


Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Operation smoothie

Fresh smoothies are a power-packed way to start the day and can be super-good for you.
Mama is a great believer in using the power of nature to help heal your ills and when Papa had sore ankles she went on a mission to find which fruit or vegetables would help to ease the inflammation.
And that got her thinking about a little challenge for the Happy House children.
We'll bring you each of their presentations over the next few days.
So get ready for some recipes!


Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Crops flourish

Aubergine, moringa, paw-paw, pumpkin and more are flourishing in the Happy House garden. Here Oscar shows us a patch of garden, newly created behind the laundry, where crops are now planted. Because the Happy House is based on coral we have to import soil to give enough depth and to enrich that we use every gardens favourite - manure!



Monday, 16 November 2020

Safety first

Motorbikes are a popular choice of transport in Kenya and, at Happy House, we have one that is used for some local errands. Mama Sue is keen for the young people, growing up in our family, to gain new skills and is allowing John and Evans to learn to ride the motorbike, safely, within our own grounds. Being responsible and staying safe is the top priority as these two young men understand.



Sunday, 15 November 2020

Butterfly Elizabeth

Little Elizabeth is five years old and a happy and lively member of our Happy House family. Elizabeth came to our Happy House family, aged six weeks, having been found abandoned two weeks. After four weeks in hospital she was well enough to come into our care and it is a delight to watch her grow and blossom. Here she singing a song for you.