Thursday, 31 December 2020
Wednesday, 30 December 2020
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.
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
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.
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
Sunday, 27 December 2020
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.
Saturday, 26 December 2020
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.
Thursday, 24 December 2020
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
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
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
Sunday, 20 December 2020
Saturday, 19 December 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
Saturday, 12 December 2020
Friday, 11 December 2020
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
Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Tuesday, 8 December 2020
Monday, 7 December 2020
Sunday, 6 December 2020
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
Friday, 4 December 2020
Thursday, 3 December 2020
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
Tuesday, 1 December 2020
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
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
Saturday, 28 November 2020
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!
Thursday, 26 November 2020
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
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
Monday, 23 November 2020
Sunday, 22 November 2020
Saturday, 21 November 2020
Friday, 20 November 2020
Thursday, 19 November 2020
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.
Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
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
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
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.