Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Coat of paint for bedrooms at Happy House

Some of the bedrooms at Happy House are being smartened up with some fresh paint. Mama Sue likes to ensure that any maintenance work is done as soon as it is practically possibly. With so many children in our family the wear and tear is immense but we want their home to be smart and comfortable. Uncle Ibrahim has been busy painting the bedrooms and revarnishing the woodwork in the children's bedrooms and he is featured in this video introduced by Edward. None of our work is possible without your support, it is because of your generosity and love for the family Mama Sue is able to do all these things.





Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Party project

​It's a big day for two very special members of our Happy House family next weekend. Mama Sue and the kids are putting on a birthday party to celebrate the birthdays of our beloved Papa Dave and of Evans, one of the first children to come into our care back in 2010, who will be 21 in April. The party will be at Mama and Papa's house and it will have an animal theme. The kids have been busy party planning and here some of the boys are searching the internet for ideas for masks they can make.


 

Monday, 29 March 2021

A special Happy House Auntie

Auntie Janet has become a valued member of our family at the Happy House since joining our staff in eight years ago. 
Our staff are all "Aunties:" or "Uncles" to our children and Auntie Janet is responsible for looking after the laundry - quite a task for a family of 57 kids - and also for helping with childcare. 
Here she is introduced to you by Rukia.



Sunday, 28 March 2021

Holiday timetable

Happy House School has broken up for Easter - for a seven week holiday! With the children only back in school a short time, after an interruption of months because of the pandemic, Mama Sue is keen for the children living in our care, to keep up with their learning. So the home-school, so popular and successful during lockdown, will be brought back for the duration of the holidays. Here Husna tells us a bit more about their holiday timetable, which is a balance of lessons and fun. It's going to be a busy break with lots of exciting things to do



Saturday, 27 March 2021

Happy House players get new colours from Dubai

Our Happy House kids are over the moon to have a new football strip. It's been very kindly donated by Dubai Irish FC. 

Tony Christian, who originally comes from Ormskirk and has worked in construction in Dubai since 2008, is the club chairman.

He said:  "It was founded in 1997 as a men's football team and are the oldest amateur football club here in Dubai.

I took over as Chairman in 2018 and that same year we (myself and a guy called Len Holbrook) started a children's section. 

We started off with seven children (mainly our own) with the aim of providing grass-roots football for children in Dubai the same as you would have in the UK, i.e. low-cost, family friendly, community-based. We now have almost 250 children.

In October of each year, our children get their new kits and we wanted to do something useful with kits from the previous season and began the search for a charity or good cause to support. 

We wanted to do this for a few reasons, firstly, to make sure the kits didn't just go to waste, secondly to try and brighten up someone else's day who may be less fortunate than our own kids, thirdly to teach our children some good life lessons about themselves and others and finally, to see if we could make some new friends. girls and boys will now turn out in the signature green of the club."

We are delighted they chose Happy House and our children were over the moon when the new kit arrived. 

They couldn't wait to kick off in the new colours and started with a game girls v boys as Papa Dave tells us.

Huge thanks to Tony and to everyone connected with Dubai Irish FC for this wonderful gift. Like everything donated to Happy House it will be worn, washed and worn until it wears out!








Friday, 26 March 2021

Final five!

The last of our Happy House birthday "Meet the kids" videos today.
How special it's been to see our lovely family of children and to see how happy they are.
 The final five are some of the older members of our family - Vidzo, Oscar, Stephano, Brian Isiaho and John.



On the ball

A netball match figured in the programme of activities for Happy House birthday sports day. 
Here to tell us about, as they get ready to play, is Happy House kid Florence



Thursday, 25 March 2021

Hello from Happy House

We really hope you are enjoying our 11th birthday videos from Happy House. Today, 14 youngsters come to say hello! They are Priscilla, Brian Hayward, Diana, Tumaini, Fahima, Khaled, Mwende, Baraka Francis, Rehema, Hussein, Dulla, Charity, Greg and Gift. And how healthy, happy and smart they all look. Without the Happy House, it would have been a very different story.




Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Fab four!

Lucky, his older brother Eric, Baraka Kaingu and Morphin are the fab four talking to us from Happy House today. Each ones gives us a little bit of a glimpse into their life - pretty much absorbed by school and football! And what could be more normal?



Table tennis anyone?

A table tennis tournament was a big hit with the kids when Happy House celebrated its 11th birthday with a sports day. Teacher, Mdm Rita, tells us more.



Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Welcoming the challenge

Class 8 student, Jacinta, is confident and ready for the challenge of her KCPE exams taking place this week. Bright and full of hope she, and fellow Class 8 students, are seizing the opportunity the exams give them to her make Happy House school shine! They've worked hard and we wish them every success as they take the exams that are their road into secondary education.




Birthday boys

We can be certain the Happy House has just turned 11. But like many children, who want to be older than they are, some of this group have added the odd year or so when asked "How old are you?" Indeed Victor, who was two in October, stands tall when he tells Evans he's four! Harry, too, says he's 11 - which he will be in the summer. Anyway, age doesn't matter, for these little boys Stevie, Saidi, Daudi, Harry and Victor, the Happy House birthday is also start of another year of a worry-free childhood. And that is thanks to Happy House.



Monday, 22 March 2021

Determination wins the day

The day after our Happy House birthday sports, it was back to the hard work for our children in school. And Mama Sue was there first thing to check out how much they had enjoyed their special day - and they had! She congratulated the youngsters on their gritty determination which had seen them beat adult staff in most events. She also wished our Class 8 the very best for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams which are now taking place. The usual exam timetable was delayed because of the interruption in school caused by the pandemic and schools were given eight weeks notice of the exam dates for 2021.
Papa Dave presented Class 8 with a trophy for their performance in the recent  Happy House exams which saw them taking the place of Best Class for this term.
We wish them well for their national exams.



Love and kindness of Happy House

In this lovely video, four children in the care of Happy House tell us a little bit about themselves. Samira, a newer member of our family, speaks of the love and kindness she has found in this special place. Also having a few words are Edward, Jessica and Brian Makotsi.




Sunday, 21 March 2021

Tug 'o' war

A tug 'o' war which pitted the strength of kids versus adults was the highlight of the birthday sports day at Happy House. In this contest it's staff against some of our older boys and crowd of spectators were overjoyed when the the kids won!



Happy House happiness

Today, we meet Fahima who is telling us about herself and how she feels about living and learning at Happy House. Like all the children in our care she is happy and really appreciates what is being done for them by Mama Sue and all those who support her work. They know very well they could not be better cared for, educated or loved than at Happy House



Saturday, 20 March 2021

Acrobats in action

A few years ago Mama Sue invited a team of local acrobats to put on a show for the Happy House kids for one of our birthday celebrations. The kids were astounded by the towers and tumbling of the athletes. The members of team came back a few times and were kind enough to teach the kids some of their moves. Since that time the older kids have been teaching the young ones and they put on their own shows. This is an extract of the performance for our 11th birthday party this week.



A family within a family

Today, it is the turn of Erick, Lucky and Thomas to tell you about our Happy House. The three brothers who are a family within our much larger Happy House family. They were such unhappy, neglected, little boys when they joined our family and now they are having the secure, loving and happy childhood they deserve.



Friday, 19 March 2021

Birthday lunch for 400!

Make that chicken pilau for 400, please! 
Happy House celebrated its 11th birthday on Wednesday which just happened to be a school day. 
So Mama Sue decided to bring together all the the school and home staff, that the entire family of almost 400, for a sports day and celebration lunch. 
The kids and staff love a sports day, specially when they compete against each other, and it was a day full of actions and with lots of laughs.

Evans who made this video featuring our remarkable Mama Sue says: 

"Meet Mama who is telling us about the day, she is very happy but wondering where the 11 years have gone,.
It has not been an easy road fr her, but we thank God for putting us together as a family. 
Your lovely support has enabled Mama to make life very easy for the kids who have really settled now.
They are all happy and healthy, it is your trust and believe in Mama that has been enabled her to make the Happy House the way it is now. Your support is greatly appreciated and remember that you are very special to our family."
 Over the next few days we will bring you two blogs each day (a birthday treat) continuing our series of the children talking about themselves and showing you the action of the sports day. 

Love and laughter

The Happy House is always full of love and laughter, Today, Esther, Thomas, Joyce, David Hayward, Neema, Abdul and Nickson tell you about themselves - assisted by Evans who recorded the video, The children are truly brothers and sisters, although not related by blood, Growing up together at Happy House has made them a part of a family this bound by love and what great little people they are,

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Happy House smiles

Five of our our Happy House girls have fun saying hello to you today. The teenagers are a giggly group but all work hard in school, help in the family when they are at home and who enjoy every day! Meet Jacinta, Husna, Florence, Purity and Rukia.



Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Happy birthday Happy House

Today, March 17, our Happy House is 11.
And our family will be celebrating with a sports day, something all our children love.
 "Where,' says Mama Sue, "have the years gone?" 
She is so busy with both the children's home and school, she must feel she's been caught up in a tornado. 
To those of us who have been involved since the start (some of us were at the opening) it's wonderful to see how she has grown and developed her Happy House to meet the needs of her growing children in a changing world.
It has been a tough road for Mama Sue and Papa Dave, but they have never wanted to turn back or wished they hadn't started out.
 t is the children that have, and will, pass through the Happy House gates that drive them on. Because of her the frightened, sad, and, in some cases, poorly, little people who come into the care of her Happy House and her team, are transformed into bright, healthy, confident, loved and honest youngsters.
 This week and over the coming days we are bringing you videos of our children speaking for themselves.
They know the Happy House better than others.
Today, it is the turn of Ludwin, Michael, Elizabeth and Oh-Oh (Emmanuel), they are a smiley little group who have all been with us since they were babies. 
Who knows where they would have been today without Mama Sue and our Happy House? 
To everyone at the Happy House and to our extended family of sponsors and supporters around the world, Happy Birthday.
No, Mama, we don't know where the years have gone but we, and those children whose lives you have touched, are grateful to you, always, for every second, of every minute, of every day of every year you have devoted to them.
Our thanks to you and to our wonderful Papa Dave, too.




Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Thank you Mama Sue

Tumaini was 12 when he came into the care of Happy House along with his twin brother, Gift, and younger brother, Baraka, four. That was in May 2016. Their mum had recently died and they were left in the care of an aunt who was fighting a losing battle to make ends meet and look after the boys. Since coming into our family, they have found love, hope and happiness and, as Tumaini tells us, are thankful for the kindness of our Mama Sue.




Monday, 15 March 2021

Growing up at Happy House

Today we meet three boys who have spent almost their entire lives at Happy House. 
As we approach the 17th, the 11th anniversary of our opening, Oscar remembers how he was one of the first children to arrive there along with his older siblings, Janet and Evans. 
With him are Harry, a foundling, and Brian, abandoned in hospital as a newborn. 
Entrusted into the guardianship of Mama Sue and Papa Dave, Brian and Harry both take the Hayward surname. 
The three boys love their Mama and Papa and are forever grateful to the sponsors who support Mama's work and her charity thus ensuring that the Happy House can continue it work in transforming the lives of vulnerable children.



Sunday, 14 March 2021

Mother's Day tribute to Mama Sue

Today is Mother's Day - a day to celebrate and say thank you to mums everywhere. At the Happy House, one young man, Nasri Juma, speaks for all our youngsters as he says a very personal thank you Mama Sue. Nasri joined our family as a scholarship kid in our school in 2014, he was desperate to learn. He was living in poverty with his grandmother, his mum had left him many years before, and there had been huge gaps in his schooling because there was no money to pay. But Nasri never lost his thirst for knowledge, school was the one place he wanted to be. Mama Sue gave him that chance. He has since completed his primary and secondary school with flying colours and is now working in our school. Mama's love and the opportunity she has given him has enabled him to break free of the poverty that had dominated his life. In this video he tells us how grateful he is to Mama Sue and of how he looks upon her as his biological mum. "She has done great things for me," he says.



Saturday, 13 March 2021

Morphin chooses a treat

Apples were Morphin's choice of treat for all the kids at Happy House.

 Our own Auntie Libby, who is in his sponsor family, made a donation to cover the cost of a treat to say thank you to Morphin for the way he helps Evans with the ideas for blogs and for presenting himself well in front of camera! 

It was also to reward his efforts in the last round of exams when his marks went up.

Life hadn't been easy for Morphin before he joined our family and it took at lot of love, patience and direction to settled him in to the lovely boy he is today - a role mode to the younger children.

Evans said: " As we all know hard work is rewarded. "Morphin always has an item for the blog and also done well with his class work. 

"So his sponsor, Auntie Libby, sent a donation to the Happy House for Morphin to have a treat with the other kids and he chose apples. 

"The kids are really happy to know that there are people beyond the Happy House who think about them and it motivates them to work extra harder and improve every day."




Friday, 12 March 2021

A stitch in time

Our Happy House seamstress, Auntie Constance, has a new sewing machine.
It replaces the old workhorse of a machine that Mama Sue's mum had bought for her in 1968! After 52 years of use, heavy daily use in its last 11 years at Happy House, is had finally given up. Evans, who made the video, says: "Auntie Constance is very happy to have the machine because it is going to make her work easier. "She is a hard working woman who makes school uniforms and all repairs for the kids living at home, soft furnishings, and any other sewing needed. "She really loves her work and hopes she will be able to do more in a day because as we know "a new broom sweeps best".





Thursday, 11 March 2021

Borehole progress

Capping the old well, drilling a borehole, reinforcing the water tower and building a garden store is all coming on well - but at a cost of more than £1000.

But as Mama tells us the water we are getting from the borehole is fresh unlike the salty water from the old (now dried up) well.

So it will be much better for our garden plant crops of vegetables and fruit, and is so pure its drinkable too!




Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Exam ready

Students at Happy House primary school have their exams this week . But before they started Mama Sue met with every class to ensure they were excited, enthusiastic and prepared to do their very best. Here she's with Pre-Primary 1, one of the nursery classes and they may be little but they have high hopes!



Testing times

Exams started yesterday at Happy House School and Mama Sue made sure that everyone was ready for the testing time ahead. She spent Monday in school meeting each class to ensure they were happy, excited and ready to go. Here she is in our Remedial Class 4 and teacher, Mr Moses. The remedial classes were set up to to target pupil's specific problem areas, especially with the pandemic meaning so many children has missed out on any schooling for several months.



Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Party planning

Mama Sue and her team of party planners are busy preparing for a special celebration on April 3. It's the day earmarked for a party at Mama and Papa's house to celebrate the birthday of our beloved Papa Dave and Happy House kid now all grown up, Evans, who will be 21. As the party will have an animal theme the kids will need something to wear and while we have masks, brought back from the UK several years ago, they will need something to go with them. So Mama has bought some lengths of animal-themed materials from a local supplier which will be turned into wraps etc. Anything left over will be used to make shorts for the children. The party planners are looking at animal themed songs and activities to make it the party of the year ... so far!



Monday, 8 March 2021

Happy House news from Mama Sue

Today our Happy House's wonderful Mama Sue brings you up to date with all the news of our family. She expresses her concern for all those of us who have had such a long winter, made harsher by the ever-present cloud of Coronavirus, and her relief to hear that we may now have an end in sight. At Happy House, the many months our children were off school inspired a new way of teaching and learning as she applied her innovative style of management and mothering to coming up with a safe of of providing home schooling to the kids living in our care. This has now been taken forward into our school, which reopened a few weeks ago, because it was so successful. Helping with home schooling also put one young lady on a path to a career! The pandemic has brought rising prices in Kenya and an almost total stop on tourism both of which have meant extra expenditure. Visitors, many of them old friends now, would bring us so many of the essential items that we need for our youngsters (from socks to sanitary pads) so we have missed those generous gifts and have had to add those things to our already stretched shopping budget. Other unexpected expenses have cropped up including drilling a borehole and replacing a well-used sewing machine (which started life in 1968!)




Sunday, 7 March 2021

Weeding the garden

Edward and his friends are busy weeding in the Happy House garden.
In their own patch, near the laundry, they are growing pumpkins and happily tend to their care knowing the bigger they grow, the more there will be to eat!


Saturday, 6 March 2021

Helping Uncle Julius

Many hands make light work - even if they are only small!

At Happy House, Uncle Julius always has a team of volunteers willing to help out with chores in the garden. 

They are happy to assist with any task from planting to spreading compost.







Friday, 5 March 2021

Meet our little monkeys!

At Happy House, Mama Sue and the children are preparing for one big party to celebrate two special birthdays. In April, it will be both Papa Dave's birthday and Evans, who will soon be starting work at Happy House having been in our family since he was a small boy, will be 21! The party will be at Mama and Papa's house and it's going to have an animal theme and that involves some serious research and colourful masks!


Thursday, 4 March 2021

Firing enthusiasm

The start the week assembly at Happy House School gave Mama Sue a chance to fire the enthusiasm for exams. In her inspirational style she urged the youngsters to make the most of revision time, to ask teachers if they were in doubt of anything, and to just do their very best. At Happy House, youngsters look forward to exams and these will also signal the coming Easter break. Papa Dave, their personal Radio Watamu, brought them the latest football news.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

A busy office


​There's nothing Mama Sue at  likes better than a busy office!

Especially when it's filled with happy, eager children.

Saturday's callers were a hint of what it will be like every day once school breaks up for the Easter holidays!



Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Bringing you sunshine

Meet some of our Happy House girls who today hope to bring their own sunshine flooding into your homes and hearts.

Evans, who filmed the vide, said: "We know it is often cold and wet where many of you live, so please just open your doors and our kids will bring the sunshine flooding in.

"Our family  the family is really thinking about you in in these hard times. We are happy for what you do to keep this family going.

 "Please stay safe and remember that the  Happy House family loves you all."




Monday, 1 March 2021

Securing a water supply

​Having a water supply is something that most of us can take for granted but in many part of the world it is another story entirely.

.In Kenya, at our Happy House the well we use to keep our greenhouse and garden plants watered has dried up over the years.

So in order to ensure we can get the need the crops we grow to give fresh fruit and vegetables to our large family of children, Mama Sue made the decision to have a borehole drilled. 

This will ensure we have a secure supply of water, but it comes at a cost - approximately £1000.

It's not money we wanted to spend but it is absolutely necessary now we no longer have the well.

We also have to build a another store for items that need need to be secure. Everything comes at a cost, but keeping a family of almost 60 children happy, healthy and safe is an expensive business.

We are so grateful to all our friends who support our charity and who ensure the Happy House is the home it should be for our family. 

Thank you, we would be lost without you.