Sunday, 31 January 2021

Growing project

Erick, Steve and Hussein are three keen young gardeners. The boys, enjoy growing vegetables for the kitchen. It is a useful hobby and here they say thank you to Mama Sue for providing them with an area to plant behind the laundry and for buying in the top soil needed. They also say thank to those who so generously donate to support our charity and for helping to make their garden grow!

Saturday, 30 January 2021

United fan squad

​Meet the Manchester United fan squad at Happy House, led by Florence the other members are Jacinta, Priscilla and Morphin. 

These youngsters really love United which is, at the moment, jostling with rivals Manchester City at the top of the league

The fourare self-appointed cheerleaders for the squad at Happy House and really hope they clinch and hold on to the top spot.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Head, shoulders, knees and toes!

​Victor and Emmanuel, two of the younger members of the the family are here to entertain you.

With the pandemic casting a shadow over lives we thought it would be good to bring you a ray of Kenyan sunshine from our children - with love. 

Their fabulous effort at Kidz Club  is followed by a few words from Mams Sue,

Victor also had the important job of presenting a birthday gift to Esther who has just turned 10.

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Man City fan foursome

Top flight Premier League team, Manchester City, is the favourite of our Happy House founder, Mama Sue.

Born in Salford, Mama is through and through a Manchester girl - and proud of it.

As a city with two top clubs, footballing preferences are divided into the blue for Man City or red for rival, Man United. Mama has always been firmly in the Blues camp!

The kids in her huge family at the Happy House all have their own favourite clubs and to her delight, these four are all fans of Man City.

Here Erick , Hussein, Brian and Edward tell us more.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Bright start

Our students at Happy House School have a bright start to their day, Exercises in the school compound ensure that any are fully alert and all set to work when they go into class. Here some of the older children are getting active!

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Soccer catch-up

Youngsters at the Happy House eagerly follow the English Premier League. But time differences mean they can't watch games as they happen because they are often far too late but they are able to catch up later. With each child supporting one team or another the teams in featured matches will always have someone leading cheering them on.

Monday, 25 January 2021

School bell rings for James and Victor

​Our two youngest Happy House children, James and Victor, have started school. 

After months of lockdown in which all our kids were at at home and being home schooled, Victor and James had joined in where they could. 

So when school reopened they missed the company of all their brothers and sisters.

 Mama thought it would be best for them to join baby class and they have just just finding their feet there.

They are settling in well and have our Janet as their nursery class assistant on hand to give them reassurance when it's needed.

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Greenhouse gang

The weekend gives the children at Happy house a chance to help out in the garden. As you will know we have a lot of eager and green-fingered youngsters who like to help grow the food they get to eat! Here we meet Baraka and some of his friends, Harry, Baraka , Gift and Brian, who are in the greenhouse making sure it is weed free.

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Coat of paint for kitchen

In a family home as big as our Happy House there is always somewhere that needs a lick of paint. And keeping on top of things is the job of the maintenance staff. Here Uncle Ibrahim is painting the kitchen, with some willing helpers from our older boys. The kids are really willing to help because they are always eager to learn new life skills and Uncle Ibrahim is a good teacher.

Friday, 22 January 2021

Stadium spruced up

The grandstand next to our football pitch at Happy House is starting the year in fine fettle. It has been spruced up with all the seats given a coat of varnish by Uncle Brian, a member of our maintenance team. As Morphin tells us, the goalposts also have a new look. Thank you to everyone who contributes, in any way, to ensuring that Mama Sue and the charity she founded, Children of Watamu, can continue their work in transforming the lives of children both in our home and at Happy House School.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Baby class on the move

The youngest children in Happy House School will be moving into a new classroom. The room, as Mama Sue explains in this video, is close to the toilets and has a ready made grassed play area right next to it. It will be ideal for the youngsters, who must be out of nappies before they join our nursery, and easier for their teacher and teaching assistant. Once the decoration of the room is complete, the furniture will be moved in ready for the little ones.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Fitness first

​Join our lower primary children from Happy House School when they start their day with some exercises.

As regular followers of our blog will know, we like to put exercise at the start of the day to wake up young bodies and minds and to get them into gear for the day ahead.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Raising the flags

​Every Monday morning, Happy House School begins with an assembly.

And as part of that the school Scouts raise the flags - the national flag of Kenya followed by the Union flag, as a tribute to Mama Sue and Papa Dave and their homeland. 

They also sing the national anthems of the two nations.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Busy in the garden

We have lots of enthusiastic young gardeners at the Happy House. They enjoy growing and harvesting vegetable crops which then go into the kitchen so that they can also tucking into the food they have grown themselves. It's an important life skill for our children and , we hope, something they will appreciate as they go through life. Here Lucky tells us what they've been doing.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Auntie Dawn's new sponsor friend

DawnHeather White, Auntie Dawn to our children at Happy House, is a loving and loyal friend to our family. She's been visiting regularly since we opened and on this trip, from her home in Northern Ireland, has spent almost three months in Watamu. The children all know and love her, and for many years she sponsored Katana who has now grown up and is living with his sister in Malindi. Auntie Dawn wants to remain as a sponsor and asked Mama Sue to place her into the sponsor family of one of the children. Mama suggested that as she knows all the children she should choose - and that's what she did in the nicest way possible.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Always a Happy House kid ...

Stephano, Jessica and Purity were in dire need when they came into the care of Happy House. With Mama Sue's kindness their mum was able to get back on her feet and to be reunited as a family with her children. But things do not always go well, and the children have again been having problems at home and Mama Sue has taken them back into our family where they have settled as if they have never been away. Once a Happy House kid, always a Happy House kid.

Friday, 15 January 2021

An act of kindness

 Papa started the school week at Happy House in his usual role as Radio Watamu.

He updated the children on the weekend football results including the result of a match between his own top team, Leeds United, against Crawley Town.

But he took on a different tactic to explain Leeds 3-0 defeat by the underdogs - kindness! Really, Papa, do you think we are going to believe you?

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Active day of fun

​In our final visit to the New Year's Eve sports day at Happy House, we join the children during a break. They are recharging their batteries with juice and biscuits before getting back on the field for a second half of activities. What happy, healthy kids we have at Happy house and how different their lives would have been without Mama Sue and the charity she founded. We have so much to be thankful for. *The event started with prayers of thanksgiving, led by Mama Sue.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Meet team Florence from Burnley

​In a fun game of soccer at our New Year's Eve sports day at Happy House, our home team took on the might of "visitors" Burnley FC.

Florence led the Burnley side who were wearing strip very kindly donated by Burnley FC and brought over some years ago by Terry and Wendy Burns. 

Evans, who made the video, said:" The kids really love football like Papa who has the ability to turn any discussion into football. 

"The kids enjoy listening from their papa who is nicknamed as Radio Watamu because of the way he gives out football news. 

"This match ended 2-0 to Happy House (pictured) the host. "Burnley seemed to be very tired in the field and Happy House took advantage and scored two goals. 

" It must have been that long journey all the way to Africa that tired them out!." he joked.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

New Year Sports Day

Having concentrated on the start of the new school term, we whizz back to New Year's Eve at home at Happy House. 

Mama and Papa asked the children how they'd like to celebrate and it was agreed to hold a sports day on New Year's Eve.

Here Morphin tells us more. Tomorrow, we meet Florence and team.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Starting the day the healthy way

Pupils at Happy House School start the day the healthy way - with exercise. Exercising in the fresh air, before the day gets too hot, boosts the energy levels of the children and gets their brains into gear for the day ahead. Here some of the youngsters enjoy exercises to test their reactions and their listening in a session of Simon Says with Mama and Papa.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Nice way to end the week

First week over of a new term at Happy House School and Mama and Papa are checking how everyone is doing. After being off for so long because of the pandemic it's been a settling down week. And it's also been a time to remember and remind children, and teachers, of the importance of good manners!

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Christmas packed away

​Christmas was full of fun for our children at the Happy House, but all good things must come to an end and as the new school year starts, the decorations come down to be packed away for another time. 

Brian and Oscar went to Mama and Papa house to take down the decorations in the banda when they celebrated their Christmas party.

Friday, 8 January 2021

Term starts well

Three days back into the new academic year and Happy House Schoo is settling down nicely. For most pupils it's been nine months since they were last in their classrooms. When the pandemic forced closure of all schools iN Kenya back in March last year, we had no idea it would be this length of time before we could reopen school fully. Two year groups returned last term, but now all are back. While the children living in our care have had home schooling throughout many day pupils have not, and we could not be sure how many parents would enrol their children for this coming year. As enrolment is done when school opens, it is always a worry. Our school is run on a not-for-profit basis but we must have fee paying pupils to sustain it. Happily Mama reports that all is looking good

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Teachers in training

Teachers joining our staff at Happy House, Watamu, seize the opportunities it gives to learn new things. And at Happy House computer fluency is vital. In this video, Mr Chris is giving a workshop on Zoom to two new members of staff because they will be expected to use on a daily basis as a way of delivering lessons to students, enhanced by educational resources available on the internet.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

A new year at school begins

There was great excitement on Monday as children in Kenya returned to school, many for the first time since the pandemic-enforced closure in March. Our children living in our care at Happy House were thrilled to be reunited with their friends who are day pupils and there were a good number of new students as well. The schooling methods we have introduced at Happy House whilst delivering education to our Happy House kids during the pandemic will now be used throughout the school. Exciting times ahead - without interruption we hope!

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Getting ready for school

After nine months of home schooling for most of our Happy House children, they were thrilled to be getting ready to go back to the classrooms to start a new academic year at Happy House School. Two year groups had returned last term, as the government decreed, but yesterday schools were again opening fully. And that means youngsters will again be reunited with their friends who come in as day pupils - many of home will have received little, if any, home education. Our children at Happy House have been home schooled, with the introduction of lessons delivered using Zoom, in formal year groups in a classroom setting - using desks and chairs from school. They were all taken back to school by our children, an eager army of volunteers, who carried the desks and chairs the short distance down the lane from home to school. Brian introduces this video.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Putting on the style

Youngsters at the Happy House stepped out on to the catwalk for Christmas fashion show. They modelled some of the wonderful new clothes donated by many of our friends. The pandemic has made this a difficult year for everyone, and we have seen the stocks in our storeroom decline as their have been fewer visitors who bring so much for our children. Angela Lewis, who was visiting for Christmas, took some beautiful dresses for our girls and Brenda Groves sent with her shorts she had made for the boys plus drawstring bags that Mama had requested. Betty Hatch regularly sends parcels of clothing bargains she has sourced, plus donating the cost of import duty that we have to pay. Import duty varies from parcel to parcel and the cost to the Happy House is high, so it's always a good idea to check with Mama Sue before sending a package to ensure it is something we need. To everyone who helped make Christmas so special for our children another huge thank you. It's back to school for them today, and the start of a new academic year.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

A word of thanks from our unsuspecting Santa

You never know what will happen when you visit our family at the Happy House Children's Home in Watamu. David Paris took on an unexpected role of Santa at our family party at Mama Sue and Papa Dave's home on Christmas Day. He was so good you'd think he'd been rehearsing all year! David, from Maidenhead, and his friend Angela Lewis, who are both great friends to our family and supporters of our charity, enjoyed every minute and share their thanks to those others, across the world, who ensure the future of our Happy House and make special times, like Christmas, possible.

*Angela and David travelled to Watamu before the tier four restrictions were imposed and complied fully with the testing and entry requirements imposed by the Kenya government.

Joining our Happy House Christmas

Our lovely friends Angela Lewis and David Paris joined in the fun of our Christmas at Happy House. 
From the Christmas party at Mama and Papa's home to a trip to the beach with our huge family of children, David and Angela enjoyed the simple pleasures of our Christmas time.
Angela , from Buckinghamshire, shares her thanks to everyone who helped to make this Christmas possible. 
Later today, in a second blog, David will talk about his Happy House Christmas.
 *Angela and David, from Maidenhead, travelled to Watamu before the tier four restrictions were imposed and complied fully with the testing and entry requirements imposed by the Kenya government.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Trip to the beach

A trip to the beach is a highlight of our Christmas time activities for our children at the Happy House. With the older children looking after the younger ones, it was a happy family time enjoyed by everyone. Wouldn't we all love some fun in the sun right now? Thank you children for bringing your sunshine to us.

Friday, 1 January 2021

A New Year message from Mama Sue

As we start a New Year, many of us still in the grips of the pandemic, we look forward to a time when we can put it all behind us.

At Happy House, where our family had been in lockdown for many months, the children are looking forward to returning to our school on Monday.

There the methods we have honed during home-schooling will be rolled out to every class, harnessing Zoom and using internet resources more than ever.

Evans, one of the first children to join our family in 2010, along with his elder sister, Janet and younger brother Oscar, will complete his schooling after his secondary exams.

He will, like his sister, moving out to live independently but will working at Happy House while studying a management course remotely, with the aim of joining Mama's management team. Exciting times for this young man.

2020 should have been a year full of celebration for Happy House and, indeed, we did get our 10th birthday in before the pandemic forced is all into lockdown, instead it's been a year of keeping going with the aim of staying safe and well - just as it has for our friends across the world.

As Mama says without you none of her work would be possible. Your kindness in donations, sponsoring our children, and in sending gifts keeps us going as a charity. But it is the love you show for us that is the driving force and we are forever grateful. Thank you. We send our love, our good wishes and our prayers for a happy and healthy 2021.