Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Hard work brings rewards

Our Happy House family had a wonderful sports day to celebrate their exam successes.
And everyone joined in - even Victor who wanted to wear a football shirt too! Evans reports "Mama was so pleased with their results and so she decided that we should have a have a very nice sports day. "On this special day, she had decided that we were also going to take a very nice treat of fruit and cream. "The kids really enjoyed every minute of this day and they were very happy they had made Mama pleased with their results . "Every one enjoyed themselves our little brother victor who also participated in one of the races and he did his best. "We had different kind of games like races, rounders, tug of war which was my best sport to watch. " The treat was a fruit salad and it was a nice change for the kids. "They are happy and they can’t stop loving their Mama Sue and Papa Dave because they are very special people to the kids and the whole family." In this video Rukia tells us a little about the event while the kids enjoy their treat.

Monday, 29 June 2020

A never-ending story

Maintenance at the Happy House is a never-ending story. The building is so big than no sooner do we finish painting one end than we we need to start at the beginning again! The excessively heavy rains have taken their toll on our building and the makuti roof this year so we are bracing ourselves to spend the money it will take to get everything shipshape and looking good. As with any household, there are always jobs to be done. It's just that our house is so much bigger than most. Here Papa Dave tells us what is planned.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Double good

There is a dual advantage to having watermelon as a treat! Firstly, our children at Happy House love the delicious flavour of this juicy fruit, secondly we can keep the seeds and plant them in the garden. That means we can grow some of our own/ With thanks to the generous friends who have sent donations to spend on little treats for the children during lockdown.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Soccer skills

Soccer training has become a real incentive to our children at Happy House. Evans, who was one of the first children to join our family when we opened in 2010, is now a young man who devotes much of his spare time to helping out. Evans has always had an interesting plating football and with the Happy House in lockdown has taken on the responsibility of organised fitness sessions for the kids - yoga when it's raining, soccer coaching when it isn't. Here he and Mama Sue chat about what he's been doing.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Tree comes down

It has been necessary to fell another tree. Growing close to the perimeter wall, it was posing a threat to our electric fence which is essential to the security of our four acre Happy House site. Our own groundsmen were able to carry out the felling themselves and the wood will be used as fuel for our wood burning oven. Nothing is wasted at Happy House.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Football's coming home!

With lockdown easing, the Premier league is back in action and our kids are over the moon! They all have their own favourite clubs, and the chance to watch a game on television again is too good to miss. So they were able to catch-up on one of the first games to be played - Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur. The Manchester United supporters amongst them well outnumbering the Spurs' fans. When the whistle went there was to be no winner with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Check point Papa!

 Yesterday, we brought you an update on on measures to keep Happy House safe from Corona virus Covid19.
A new hand held, contact-free thermometer is now being used for daily temperature checks.
All our staff, children and essential visitors are being checked with visitors required to wear masks if they have to enter the compound.
Our staff are happy to comply knowing that everything we do is in  the best interests of our children and in their best interests too.
Here is Papa doing the first check on some of our little ones.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Daily checks to keep virus at bay

Daily temperature checks on staff and children at the Happy House are now taking place in a bid to keep Coronavirus at bay. And anyone entering the Happy House will be checked at the gate to ensure they do not have a raised temperature - one of the warning sings of the virus. With many people being a bit more relaxed about lockdown in Kenya, Mama Sue is keeping our Happy House on high alert and will not be easing any of the restrictions we have enforced there since March. With schools closed, our family of 60 kids are being home schooled with lessons being conducted by teachers via the internet. If a teacher, or any essential visitors, need to come into the grounds of Happy House they must wear a mask and we have a strict hand-washing regime. Now Mama and Papa have been able to get a non-contact thermometer, which are expensive and not easily available, temperature checks can also take place as Mama explains.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Exam ready

They might be in lockdown, but school routine carries on as normal at our Happy House. And this week the 60 children being tutored a home will be put to the test with exams. On Saturday, staff members Mr Nasri and Mr Christone were getting the banda set out for exams due to start today.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Pumpkin perfect

The rainy season is quenching the thirsty land and ensuring the crops in our Happy House gardens are doing well. Uncle Alex and uncle Julius are delighted with the way the plants are cropping and one in particular - the pumpkins. Our Happy House family really enjoy soup, especially pumpkin soup, which is always made from fresh ingredients and highly nutritious. In a few weeks time, it will be pumpkin soup on the menu!

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Popcorn all round

The Happy House children experienced a treat with a difference. Usually, treats are of the fresh fruit variety - something that costs a little more than the usual fruits in their diet. But when our lovely friends Brenda and Red Groves sent a donation to buy something for kids Mama and Papa thought popcorn would be a good idea. It was cooked in ur kitchen under the watchful eyes of Mama and papa - and with 60 kids that's a mountain of the stuff! On behalf of the family, Evans says:" Thank you Uncle Red and Auntie Brenda for you have made it possible for the kids to have this lovely treat that they have all enjoyed."

Friday, 19 June 2020

Wet weather exercise

When the rains put paid to football training, the Happy House football squad try a different form of exercise to keep them physically fit. Under the guidance of their coach, Evans, they go through a yoga routine - which stretches them physically whilst focusing them mentally.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Love is the answer

With the Happy House in lockdown because of the Coronavirus Covid pandemic, our children are really enjoying home learning, writes Evans. And when a youngster has a problem, he or she approaches Mama Sue who plays aa important role in finding solutions to whatever dilemma they are facing. Lesley, a little boy in Grade One , had a problem in maths with his long division, so when he went to mama, the solution to his problem was to find an elder brother or sister who would help him. Mama suggested Oscar and Lesley him to help. He was promised to have an hour during the weekend and Oscar took him through his work explaining where he was going wrong. At Happy House there is always someone who is ready to help so that things can be all right. All this happens because of the love there is in the family - it is a true love that would be hard to find anywhere else.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Making masks

Yesterday's blog was an illustration of how the children in our family have been taught about the precautions they need to take to keep themselves safe from Coronavirus Covid 19. And on Saturday morning they learnt about the need, in some situations to wear masks and why. As a way of reinforcing that important message they learnt how to make them too as Mama Sue explains.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Timely advice

Youngsters living in lockdown at the Happy House are getting a real understanding of how social distancing, hand cleanliness and wearing masks can help to beat Coronavirus Covid 19. Although they are in their own bubble at home, the time will come when schools will reopen and their world will gradually start to return to a new normal. Mama Sue wants them to be fully aware of the ways that they can help to protect themselves and others. Here Husna gives us all some advice.

Monday, 15 June 2020

Arts and crafts

Saturday mornings are times when our Happy House children have fun with arts and crafts. They make all kind of different things from projects sourced on the internet. Then the older kids help the younger ones to follow the instructions to make their chosen item. Here Florence tells us about one of the activities,

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Flying high

Two of our children have been doing so well with their home schooling they've been moved straight from PrePreparatory 2 to Primary Grade 1. Working in very small groups, overseen by our school secretary-turned-teacher, Auntie Velma, Neema John and Abdul Malik have zoomed ahead. It's tradition in Happy House School that when children move classes they are welcomed to their new class. Here we have Abdul and Neema being greeted with the welcome song.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Home school success

The Covid-19 pandemic closed schools in Kenya back in March, and so with our own school shut we have implemented home schooling at Happy House. The 60 children in our family have been working in a makeshift school setting, in their year groups, with teachers conducting lessons via Skype on to our Smart TVs. It's worked well and with very small groups, assisted in "class" by members of staff, the children have blossomed. Here Mama Sue brings you an update.

Friday, 12 June 2020

CCTV fixed

Justine, an electrician, has been working at Happy House to check our CCTV system. The system, needed for security, suffered because of the intense power flucuations we have been experiencing recently, Justine checked it out and made the adjustments needed. Thank you Justine.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Economy conscious Happy House

Today we join a Happy House staff meeting with focus on the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on our family finances. Mama Sue is keen to impress the need to economise to every member of our team. With no tourists travelling to Kenya, we are missing the lovely international friends who support our charity and who bring us so many gifts for our store room including toiletries, clothing, educational items . Visitors often buy food for our family when they visit, often enough to buy staple food and household items to last our family of 60 children fo ra whole week. We also miss the opportunity to make new friends of those who learn about us while they are in Watamu, come to visit and often decide to sponsor a child. Sponsorship provides a regular source of income, so we always need new sponsors but know there are likely to be fewer this year. So Mama wants to make everyone aware of the need to use things carefully and to avoid any waste. Of course, they are always careful but Mama felt it was a time to remind everyone to take extra care with everything they and the children use.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Soccer derby

Two Happy House teams went head to head to head on the football field in a match between Mama and Papa's top clubs. Oneteam represented Leeds United, Papa's side, while the other flew the flag for for Manchester City, which Mama supports. The youngsters, coached by Evans, had been training hard for the match with daily sessions. Evans had been following coaching tips sourced from the internet to help them be ready for game with a lot at stake! Papa predicted a win for his side of 5-4 but when it came to it, but while he got the number of goals right, he picked the wrong team. The final score was Manchester City 5 and Leeds 4.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Lucky's day

Our lovely Lucky has just celebrated his birthday - and has reached double figures! Lucky, who with his brothers Eric and Thomas, joined our Happy House family in 2016 was presented with his birthday bag of goodies by his friend, Emmanuel.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Pick of the crop

Several weeks ago, knowing the rains would be on their way, some of our Happy House kids helped to plant maize in the garden. They have also helped to nurture it, keeping the area free from weeds. Now it is ready to harvest. Mwende and Diane bring us an update.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

A Sunday song

Today is Sunday, so we thought we'd treat you to a a hymn sung beautifully by our Happy House girls choir. All our kid enjoy singing and many hymns feature in their repertoire . Here they sing "Almighty God is Here."

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Wifi sorted

Problems with the internet connection at Happy House have been causing big headaches over the past week. But now, at last, we think we have them sorted. It meant a trip on to the roof for two technicians , helped by Mr Christone at ground level, to ensure the aerial and routers were running correctly

Friday, 5 June 2020

Hair today

The barber paid a visit to Happy House on Saturday to give the boys a haircut. Instead of the boys going out Mama invited Papa's barber to come in and he got through them all in turn.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Saturday surprise

The Happy House kids had a day full of delicious treats on Saturday. After having apples and oranges at Kidz Club, they had pineapple for supper thanks to Auntie Janet. Auntie Janet, who looks after our laundry, brought in enough pineapples for everyone to have some as a special surprise. Thank you Auntie Janet.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Growth chart

 One of the requirements on a children's home is to keep a record of each child's growth.
That means they are regularly weighed and measured. The older kids at Happy House are happy to help with this and the little ones think it's fun!

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Kidz Club treats

There were treats all round at Kidz Club on Saturday. Mama Sue was so pleased with her Happy House children's results in their exama that she wanted their efforts to be rewarded,
And donations made by our friends to buy treats make it possible.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Tree troubles

The rainy season has brought yet another problem to Happy House and this time it's tree troubles! Leaves falling from a coconut tree have been causing repeated damage to the electric fence which we need for security. So Mama made the decision that the tree must go before the heavy palms do lasting damage, Professional tree fellers were called in to fell the tree and then then our youngsters helped to clear up the debris. Auntie Rose reports.