Thursday, 8 December 2016

Home for Christmas: Sports day

Our competitive kids,enjoying being back together, went head to head for a family sports day.
And both boys and girls gave their all as they fought to win the day for their team.
Mama's team, in orange, took on the might of Uncle Billy's team in green.
With kids, who were not on the field, shouting and cheering from the sidelines there was a whole lot of friendly rivalry on and off the pitch. 
The little ones had races, while the older kids played games of football, volleyball, netball and athletics.
At the end of the morning, Mama's team triumphed..
In the afternoon a special kidz club , delighted Mama and Papa spoke of their joy at having all the kids, now back with their families, back at their Happy House home this week and to see how thrilled they are to see each other.
On tomorrow's blog we'll be catching up with all the news of Santa's deliveries!



Blackpool fair today

There will be prizes galore when Happy House fundraisers have a tombola at Blackpool Victoria Christmas Market today.
The markets are held in the hospital's education centre (single storey building, opposite the women's union) from 4pm to 6.30pm.
Parking in the multi-storey car park is free for those visiting the fair after 4.45pm.
We have some wonderful prizes all donated by our friends, so please pop along to se us.
We'll also have some of these cute teddies on sale £1.50 - the money they raise will be added to St Aidan's School K7's Christmas effort for Happy House.
All the money we raised will be added to our Buy a Book Appeal to cover the costs of buying text books for our Secondary School Form 2 which opens in January.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Home for Christmas: Dizzy Dancing

Happy House is the only family David has ever known.
And he is having the time of his life showing off to the "brothers and sisters", repatriated with relatives, who have come back to their Happy House home for an early Christmas.
They played a huge part in helping to turn David into the vibrant child he is today.
Abandoned at birth, David was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome when he was 11 months old and Mama was warned he was never likely to walk and wouldn't amount to anything very much.
With advice and help sourced in the UK, we introduced exercises to stimulate him physically and mentally, and all the kids joined in to help their special brother to achieve his best.
They instilled in him confidence and self belief, He understands that everything is within his grasp.
That's my boy,
cheers from Papa Dave
So when it comes to dancing at a Christmas party, David , six this month, is the first up to shake it all about.
And cheering him on louder than anyone is Papa Dave, for whom he was named,
Yesterday was day two of our reunion party.
We had hoped to bring you lots of pictures and video from each day, but nothing can ever be guaranteed when you are working in Africa.
With the power down all day, the power from the generator wasn't sufficient to connect to the internet.
Not that being without power causes many other inconveniences. We have our brick oven, etc in fueled by wood from our grounds, and also cook rice in a sufuria over wood.
Mama called to say  what a fantastic time everyone is having and pictures and videos will be on the way just as soon as the connection is back up.
Today, our family will be having a Christmas Day when Santa will be dropping in to deliver gifts to all the kids.
Your belief in our work, your support, your love makes all this possible.
Thank you
If you would like to make a Christmas gift to Happy House to help take our work further, please go to
https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/childrenofwatamu/festivefund

D

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Home for Christmas: Joyfully reunited

Francis  Mwende and Musyoka
Our Happy House family is joyfully reunited for the most magical time of the year.
With 61 youngsters, some of them who had lived in our care for as long as five years, back home to visit our resident family of 70 kids,  everywhere is buzzing with excitement and activity.
Our visiting kids, now  successfully repatriated with relatives, were thrilled to be arrive yesterday and Mama and Papa were there with open arms ready to welcome them.
There are 41 who are sleeping over for the next four nights, whilst 20 living nearer, will be coming in every day to join the Christmas action.
Yesterday was a time to catch up, deck the halls, and settle in - with a bit of dancing too.
Maria and Hassan
Delicious pizza, cooked over a wood fire in our brick oven, went down a treat with our hungry tribe of kids,
It's an exciting time for everyone and especially for Mama Sue and Papa Dave. 
They are devoting their lives to changing lives.
Reuniting families of children in care is something the Kenya Government very much wants to happen.
Happy House is showing other children's homes that it is possible, it can happen.
Repatriation of Happy House kids  to relatives, now back on their feet after the loss, sickness or trauma that led to the children being in care, is being successful because we are continuing to support the children by providing for the two major needs which are a major obstacle in united families - education and health.
Plus we are following up on every child every single week.
In the few cases that it hasn't worked out we have acted immediately and  the children have come back into our care immediately and settled back immediately.
For Mama and Papa to have all their children back together again is just best feeling of all.
We can think of  no one who deserves it more.

The amazing results brought about by Happy House could not happen without YOU. 
And we thank you for your enduring love and support.
If you would like to make a gift to Happy House to help continue our work with needy children in Kenya, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/childrenofwatamu/festivefund



Monday, 5 December 2016

Happy times start here!

The big day is here!!
Today 60 kids, so successfully restored to the care of relatives,  are on the way back to see their Happy House family.
For some it is a very long journey. 
Musyoka, Mwende and Francis set off from their grandad's homestead, north of Nairobi, on Saturday.
But we know that for all their travelling, the children won't be tired - they are just bouyed up by the excitement of seeing their Happy House home again, and especially their Mama Sue, Papa Dave and all their friends.

And we can only imagine how Mama and Papa will be feeling to welcome back, if just for a short time,  these youngsters, who were in their care for so long.
It will be emotional and magical.
It was hard to let them go, Mama was determined to do the best for them, with our continuing support,  so they could go home to relatives who have recovered from the traumatic circumstances of loss, sickness or poverty that rendered them unable to cope.
Every week, our caring social worker Uncle Billy checks on every child to ensure all continues to be well.
From today, they will be, briefly, back in the fold.  And set to party!
Jo and Pete Reid have been out with Papa to get more groceries with the money donated by friends and  our kitchen store is filled with most things needed for a week of special meals.
Happy House is ready for the arrivals. Everywhere has been  given an extra clean and polish and rooms made ready.
While we have the room for all extra kids, we don't have enough beds to go round but everyone will have a comfy mattress.
And kids being kids that will make it even more of a Christmas sleepover adventure!
YOUR  support and donations makes possible our life-changing work with vulnerable children in Kenya.  If you could make a donation, no matter how small, as a Christmas Gift to Happy House it would be so appreciated. Donate at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/childrenofwatamu/festivefund

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas countdown: Pride and glory

On the eve of our Happy House Christmas celebrations, our Class 8 national exam candidates have delivered the best present of all.
They stormed home to victory in the KCPE examinations, with every candidate passing with flying colours.
These kids, in education thanks to  Mama Sue's Happy House and our scholarship scheme, have defied circumstances of poverty and hardship, to triumph. 
They will now go into Form 1 Secondary School in January.
The kids, drawn from abject poverty, have also topped  the marks of last year's Class 8 with a mean score of  344.28 to last year's 324
For Mama, Papa, Uncle Billy, their form teacher and school head, Mr Isaac, and all their teachers the results are testimony to their dedication to these students.
They have instilled in them confidence and the belief that, regardless of where you come from, all things are possible.
Our kids, who have worked so hard , have, without exception, scored, at least, 60 marks more than the national pass of 250, with a top mark of 375, and we are incredibly proud of them.
Overall, they out-scored their Happy House predecessors, our next Form 2, who they will be joining in secondary school.
It is a wonderful achievement. 
Without our Happy House and it's Dr Danwata Scholarship Scheme, these young people would have faced a bleak future, with only intermittent schooling at best.
All our family is celebrating their success, and Mama, bursting with pride in her kids,  is putting in place plans to deliver on her promise of an overnight safari for all the exam successes.
She called them to her office so she could share with them the details of visit to Tsavo East National Park in February.  It will be a trip of a lifetime from which they will gain so much.
In today's video, Mama and the kids share their pride and excitement.
And as Mama mentions we are thrilled our Buy a Book Appeal, to cover the £2000 outlay for all the text books required  for our first Form 2 Secondary when it opens in January, is doing well - thanks to YOU.
It now stands at £1520, leaving just £480 to go!
To buy a book:
Our savings fund to help support these young people through university in the future still has a long way to go. You can invest in their future at:



Saturday, 3 December 2016

Christmas Countdown: Friends bring gifts

 As the countdown to Christmas continues, friends have arrived bearing gifts for our family.
Peter and Joanne Reid, from Lytham, had their bags packed with loads of lovely items, from clothes to craft material;
There were office diaries for Mama's team. soap, deodorants, toothpaste, sanitary pads, socks, footballs and lots more things from our most-needed Wish List.
items were donated by Joanne and Pete's friends and Joanne's generous colleagues at Fylde Spire Hospital.
Pete's JustGiving page has raised £444 in donations from friends and he and Jo went shopping to help fill our storeroom with groceries and greengroceries for the Christmas reunion holiday, which starts on Monday when the kids, repatriated back into families, will be arriving for a five day Happy House "home" visit.
Also safely back with our family, is volunteer Natasha Wenman,.
Natasha, a hairdresser from Buckinghamshire, also brought cases filled to bursting with items from our wish list  including socks, underwear, sanitary pads, toiletries etc- again thanks to her friends and to clients at her salon.
Natasha also received chash donations which she added to our Festive Holiday Appeal Fund.
Natasha, who volunteer at Happy House last year, is back for a shorter trip this time and the kids were just thrilled to bits to see her back.
We are deeply grateful to Pete, Jo, Natasha and to all those who ensured there was no chance of their travelling light to Kenya.
Everything will be logged into our storeroom to be used as and when necessary. 
In a growing family like our own at Happy House, there is always some child needing new pants, socks, soap etc!
The list is as big as the hearts of those who donated.
Thank you from Mama, Papa and all our children.

Bringing them home

Ensuring no repatriated child, howeveer far away they now live, misses out on coming back to to visit Happy House for our special Christmas break Mama has set aside 30,000 KES to pay transport costs for child and chaperone.
On Monday, the excited youngsters will arrive and we, and they, just can't wait!
If you would like to make a Christmas Gift to our amazing Happy House family, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/childrenofwatamu/festivefund

Friday, 2 December 2016

Christmas countdown: Let's sing!

As the excitement builds our little people are having huge fun learning some Christmas songs and actions to go with them.
Ask them to wiggle, and they'll wiggle - maybe not all in the same direction - but they'll all give it a try.
And there's always someone who wants to have a place in the front row - in today's video, it's our David making sure he's getting frontline action.
The preparing to welcome children now successfully repatriated to relatives who arrive back on Monday for their festive holiday with their Happy House family and what a treat we have in store!
If you would like to make a gift to Happy House this Christmas and support our work with disadvantaged children, please go to
https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/childrenofwatamu/festivefund
Every penny counts. Thank YOU.



Fair date

Tomorrow,  two of our crafty friends, Barbara Hall and her friend Ann Harvey,  will be having a stall at a craft and gift  fair at Lytham Assembly Rooms, Docconson Terrace, Lytham, from 10.30am to 4.30pm, when they will raise money for Happy House.
Please pop in and say hello to them if you are any where near.