Sunday, 28 February 2021

A talent discovered

A bundle of energy, Saidi was just three years old when he came to Happy House in 2013. He joined his sister Rukia who had been in our care since 2010. The children were in the care of their grandmother who was not able to look after them or to send them to school. Safe at Happy House both children have flourished and Saidi has discovered a talent for making people laugh. When the children performed a version of The Three Little Pigs, Saidi was cast in the role of the Big Bad Wolf and had everyone laughing!

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Opportunity knocks

We continue to bring you news of the success of remedial classes at Happy House School. Children from lower primary classes who were struggling in a particular subject are or who had missed out because of the pandemic were the first to benefit from the classes with dedicated rooms and teaching staff. And how they have improved. Our David Hayward, who you will all know as a very special little boy who has overcome so many obstacles, managed to achieve an amazing 78 per cent in his recent maths exam - after just three weeks of remedial teaching. Now the classes are being extend to those youngsters who need them from upper primary. And because of the way they have been presented to the youngsters they are eager and keen to attend - everyone wants to take up on the opportunity to be the best they can be.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Celebrating success

After most of the academic year out of class because of the pandemic, many children returning to Happy House School needed help catching up. Unlike those living in the care of our children's home, who were home educated the entire time, many children from the community had no formal schooling. To address the issue of catching-up, and thanks to a very generous donation, we have been able to empty more teachers and open remedial classes so that individual children get their educational needs addressed. In the short time since we started these classes, we are already seeing great improvement and after last week's exams Mama Sue decided this should be celebrated with treats!

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Announcing results

Exams last week - result this! It was to a gathering of very excited children that Mama Sue has the important task of announcing results at Happy House School. Mama and the teachers talk to each individual child about their results, but it is always important to celebrate success as a school family too.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Start the week with a smile

The week always starts with smiles and laughter at Happy House School. Mama Sue and Papa Dave lead the Monday assembly encouraging and inspiring the whole school family. And the humour they share isn't lost on the children who enjoy their friendly rivalry over football. Papa, who they have called Radio Watamu, gives his weekly soccer broadcast which they all look forward too.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Tropical treat

Praise for doing well is a huge boost to a youngster's confidence. Like many of the children in our family, Gift had little schooling before he came into the care of our Happy House family. He tries hard and Pat Johnson, a member of his sponsor family, sent a donation to buy a treat as a way of recognising his efforts Treats are shared with the whole family and Gift was asked to choose what he would like. Pineapple was his choice and just how delicious it looks. Thank you Pat for your kindness and for making one boy and all his "brothers" and "sisters" very happy indeed!\

Monday, 22 February 2021

Exam in progress

​Today, we join a class at Happy House School during an exam. 

The youngsters in Standard 7 are sitting a Swahili paper having earlier completed their social studies exam.

Florence tells us more.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Fit for exams

Students at Happy House School have just had the latest round of examinations. Exams feature regularly on the Kenya curriculum and we like to make sure that our youngsters at bright, alert, prepared and confident whenever they come along, Starting the morning with exercises helps to ready them physically and mentally. Here our Grade 4 students are limbering up for the day ahead.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Only a small glimpse of Happy House

New teachers were given just a small glimpse of the extraordinary individuals who make up Happy House. Teacher, Md Naomi, spoke at the end of the event aimed to introduce new teachers to our very special family. She said the children were "just wonderful", eager to learn and to quick to pick up new concepts presented to them. She urged fellow members of staff to subscribe to the Happy House philosophy and enjoy working there.

Friday, 19 February 2021

We come from different destinations, but we are family

The very heart of the Happy House was opened to teachers when they spent a morning at home with our family.

Mama Sue wanted to give them to understand the the foundations on which she created this very special home for children in need and to see for themselves how each child is treated as and encouraged to be an individual. 

At the end of the morning, Jacinta emphasised the views of the children and the values that Mama instils in each of them. 

Mama also spoke asking the new members of staff to full embrace our ways and to treat every day they come to school as the joy we wish it to be.

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Confidence to aim for goals

Happy House kid Morphin would like to be a football player when he grows up.
 And having confidence will, he knows, be key in helping him achieve his goal and to score goals too! 
Addressing a gathering for teachers at Happy House, Morphin's good humour and confidence is evident.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Decision making by Husna

Our children at Happy House have a wonderful role model in their own Mama Sue. It is thanks to her determination, drive and dedication that the Happy House became a reality and gives them a wonderful home, family and education. Mama is admired for her decision making and creative thinking. She is keen for her children to develop their own skills, to think for themselves and to be able to make well-considered decisions. Husna told a gathering for new teachers why decision making is important to her.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

All he needed was friends - and a pair of socks!

A lovely German couple holidaying in Watamu, came across a young boy on the beach. Every evening Elke and Ruediger Emmanuel collecting plastic bottles which would be sold to recyclers to help his struggling family. They befriended the child, bought him a bag to make carrying the bottles easier and asked him if there was anything he would like. His answer was simply: A pair of socks. His humility touched their hearts and as they got to know him better they also met his family and decided, after returning home to Germany, to help him further by supporting his education. But where? After extensive research they discovered that Happy House School was regarded as the best in the area and contacted Mama Sue to talk about the possibility of Emmanuel joining its roll. She met with Emmanuel and his father and it was arranged for the boy to become a student at Happy House. Now Ruediger and Elke have returned to Watamu and are delighted to see Happy House for themselves and to see how well Emmanuel is doing there. If Emmanuel works hard in school, their kindness will change his life forever. The opportunity they are giving him to rise above poverty is something you cannot put a price on.

Monday, 15 February 2021

From computers to songs of praise

It was thanks to Mama Sue, founder of Children of Watamu charity , that Christone Ruwa discovered an interest in computer science,
 Forward thinking Sue was responsible for raising funds and installing computers in the his school in Watamu, which is where she started her work way back in the year 2000.
 His passion for computers never left him and he went on to study Information Technology at Eldoret University. 
 He now works in our computer suite at Happy House School and is thrilled to be a part of the team Mama has created. 
 But at our special event to introduce new teachers to the many talents and strengths of our family at the Happy House, Mr Christone led some lively group songs of praise.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Happy House has taught me so much

Rukia spent most of her life in the Happy House family. She was just a little girl when she came to us and it is has been a joy to follow her progress. Now in secondary school, she acknowledges and is thankful for all that she has learnt from being a part of our family and is especially grateful to Mama Sue for the opportunities and love that she has given to her. Here Rukia explains to the gathering for teachers just what being a Happy House kid means to her.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Growing up as individuals and with good manners

Growing up in a family of 53 children could make it difficult for a child to be heard or to express themselves. But at Happy House, each child is treated as an individual and actively encouraged to express themselves and follow their dreams. At a special event to introduce new teachers to all the things that make our Happy House such a wonderful place to be a child, Florence spoke about being an individual and Priscilla followed by telling them of the importance placed on being well mannered and considerate to others.

Friday, 12 February 2021

Eye-opening event for teachers

In a special weekend event, teachers from Happy house School were invited home to Happy House by Mama Sue and the family.
The aim was to show the teachers who have recently joined our staff how the the children, growing up in our care, are capable, confident, articulate and happy.
The ethos of our school and family is for youngsters to grow up to be able to think and speak for themselves at home and at school.
The education we offer is delivered in a very different way from the schools teachers will have been used to and so Mama felt it was important that new staff should see the children at home in action.
The kids put together a programme of activities to entertain (and involve) their teacher and presented it. It was a fun morning, very much enjoyed by all.
We will bring you some features of the event over the next few days of the blog.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Music bring joy

Meet Husna and the other Happy House room captains bring us an update on he radios that the children received as a Christmas present. Each room has it's own speaker and USB stick on which to download music of their choice. Evens tells us: "The kids really enjoy listening to their music in the morning and in the evening after school. They are really happy and grateful to our lovely mama who bought the speakers through money which was donated by our generous sponsors. It is because of your love and generosity that the kids are able to listen and enjoy their music."

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Agile acrobats

We have some enthusiastic young acrobats among our children at the Happy House. They like to perform feats of balance and agility that illustrate their motor coordination skills and their ability to work together as a team. Here Morphin tells us more.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Backing Arsenal


Meet Happy House kids Diana, Fahima and Saidi.

They all support the Arsenal football squad and with their team struggling the kids like to think their encouragement will help fire them on!

Monday, 8 February 2021

Happy House has taught me many things

Happy House has been home to Greg since was seven-years-old. He's now 10. He'd been living with his grandmother who was defeated by her own circumstances and sought the help she needed to give her little grandson the care he needed. Happy House has given him a huge family of brothers and sisters, love and education and a childhood he really enjoys.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Fruits from the tree

Eating fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the garden helps to keep our children healthy at Happy House . And we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy fresh coconuts. The flesh and the milk are both delicious, but the coconut has many more uses from providing oil for cooking to thatch from its leaves. Charity tells us more.

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Kitchen help

Helping to prepare meals at weekend is just one of the many things our Happy House kids enjoy. Assisting with the chores around their home is being part of a family and every weekend they sort themselves into groups and decide who should help where. It great for the busy aunties to have some willing extra hands and the children are learning skills to last for life.

Friday, 5 February 2021

Catching up

At Happy House children help each other. Whether at home or in school, they are one big family and understand the importance of being kind and helpful to others. 
So when it comes to learning, if one person is behind in a subject, or is struggling to understand, there is always someone on hand to help. 
And with our newly introduced remedial classes in school, the kids are also enjoying helping each other catch as Jacinta tells us.

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Inspiring youg minds

Monday assembly is always a special time at Happy House School. Mama Sue and Papa Dave like to be there to fire up enthusiasm and inspire the the kids ready for the week ahead. The children really enjoy listening to them because they always talk directly to them and there's always something to make them laugh too! This assembly is when Mama gives them news of the remedial project being introduced to help those who are struggling to get back into learning after months of enforced absence because of the pandemic, and Papa brings them the football results.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Exciting school project

The pandemic is taking a worrying toll on children's education around the world. In Kenya, children returned to school in January after being off since March. At Happy House children's home we focussed on intensive home-education for the children living in our care to ensure, as much as we could, that they did not fall behind. But it was not possible to extended that to children from the local community who attend our school and when they came back to class in January, along with those starting our school for the first time, we discovered that many had fallen far behind. As Mama Sue says they hadn't seen a book or picked up a pencil for the entire time. Now, thanks to a generous donation, we are able to invest in a remedial project aimed at helping to get them back on track in maths, English and Swahili. We has received enough funds to cover the cost of employing extra teachers and to buy five new televisions to harness the full power of interactive learning. Here Mama Sue, founder of Children of Watamu charity, and teacher, Md Rita, explain the project.

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Post lockdown learning

Post lockdown e-learning is proving a hit with teachers and students at Happy House School.
Those living in the care of Happy House, like Morphin, did so well learning, via Zoom, whilst being home-schooled during many months of lockdown, that they are grateful Mama Sue has now introduced it in to our school since it reopened this month.
And because they are already familiar with it, they are also able to share their knowledge to help returning day students from the community to adjust to a new way of learning.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Happy to be home

The love and welcome of her friends made it easy for Purity when she came back to live in the Happy House family recently. Purity, along with her brother Stephano and sister, Jessica, had previously been in our care but had been reunited with their relatives. But circumstances changed and the three youngsters have come back into our care and settled in with their friends as if they'd never been away.