Thursday, 30 June 2016

Morecambe gets wise to Happy House

  Our children brought a touch of Kenyan sunshine to warm the hearts of the brave-hearted who ventured out on a wet and windy night in Morecambe.
Elizabeth Gomm was guest speaker at Morecambe Parish Church Fellowship Group where she showed a video and spoke about the work of our wonderful Mama Sue and Papa Dave.
Phil with Fellowship donation
Her audience was touched by the stories of some of our children and uplifted to hear how the Happy House changes the lives of so many children who either live with us or are on free places in our school, and also of how families can be reunited when their fortunes change for the better.
Saumu
Fellowship member Phil Ramsden invited Elizabeth on behalf of the group. He and his wife, Karin,  are in Saumu Safari's sponsor family.
The evening resulted in a donation of £50 from the fellowship plus another £56 in donations. Every penny will be used to improve the lives of children.
Many thanks to the Phil and the fellowship for their friendship and for their kind donations.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

School Report: Happy to be back

With the half term break over Happy House kids  are refreshed and happy to be back in school and ready for another busy time.
They are receiving the results of their recent exams and know that when Mama retuirns from her break in the UK she will be meeting with each one of them to discuss their progress.
He rpersonal interest in their performance means so much to the kids living in our family and to the scholarship children who all aspire to do their best to make their school and their Mama proud.


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Going home to mum

Scholarship child Yvonne was brought home to our family three months agobecaise Mama and Papa were concerned about her health.
She was very thin  and Mama worried that she was not eating enough and hoped some time at Happy House would help to build her up,
So after talking with Yvonne's mum, Janet, who has recentlty returned to the area after six years away, it was agreed that both Yvonne and her younger brother Michael should come on a temporary stay..
And Mama suggested that whilst they were staying at Happy House, their mum could visit often, get to know her children again,  and take the chance to get work and set up home ready to take them back to.
Yvonne and her younger brother, Michael, had been living with an aunt and her family for six years after being leftt in her care by their mum, a casual labourer., who travelled to get work.
Now three months after her talk with Mama,  Janet is in full time employment, has accommodation and is ready to take Yvonne and Michael home to to live with her.
As scholarship students they will be coming to school every day and we will be providing them with transport to cut down their journey time.
Another good outcome brought about with a little sprinkling of Happy House magic!
Please can you help Give a Child a Chance, by sponsoring a child, like Yvonne or Michael?
To find out more go to: http://www.childrenofwatamu.net/school/scholarship-scheme
To set up your sponsorship online:


Monday, 27 June 2016

My good fortune to work with special kids, says volunteer.


In any school there will be children who need a bit of extra support and help.
Some because of the challenges they are born with, others because of circumstances that have shaped their lives.
Volunteer Gussy Bunbury, who is coming to the end of six months with our family, has been providing valuable help and support in our school.
She has been able to use the experience she has gained working with special needs pupils in UK schools, to help bring on some of our little ones. 
Gussy has worked one-to-one with Lesley (top left), Ernest (below left) and David (below right).
Concentrating primarily on speech and language the three boy have come on leaps and bounds with Auntie Gussy, who writes:.
One of the most challenging aspects of working with children is you are never quite sure how a lesson will pan out, no matter how well prepared you are. 

You can deliver the same lesson to two groups of children and it can end up being totally different because it all depends on the children.
Each child learns in a different way and you have to be ready to adapt in order to keep the children engaged and eager to learn.
This is even more so when working with children with special needs.
Since arriving at Happy House, I have been working one to one with a few children who need a little extra to help them with their speech and general development
.The aim is to get them to a stage where they can work independently in the school environment. 
 When working one to one like this you can form a close relationship and through this a child becomes more comfortable and feels safe and able to take risks, which in turn helps them to learn better.
 We do many small activities and there is lots of repetition to allow them to become secure in their new skill or knowledge.
 Working with  a child with special educational needs, means being creative in your teaching as well as having a willingness to persevere as the progress does usually take longer;
 However, as with all teaching, the moment you see clarity on a child's face is priceless.
 Following their development over a period of time is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job. 
 I have been very fortunate to work with Ernest, David and Lesley and I would like to thank them for the wonderful time and happy moments we have shared during my time at Happy House. 

Please can you help Give a Child a Chance, by sponsoring a child, 
To set up your sponsorship online:


Sunday, 26 June 2016

Time for a break by Janet

Three of our first Happy House  kids, Janet and her younger brothers, Evans and Oscar, are now happily living with an aunt, uncle and cousins.
They remain very much a part of our family and come into school every day with their school, medical and other needs met by Happy House.
Janet, who is in Form 1 secondary, has written today's blog about the week leading up to their current half-term break.
This is Janet writing about the mid-term break. 
The form one students began their exams on Thursday last week and were through by 10am the following Wednesday. 
In the primary section they did their exams for two days
We all hope to have better results than last time.
Janet, Oscar and Evans
Mama Sue always reminds us to work hard because somebody somewhere wakes up early to go and work so they can donate some money for the Happy House and  so we should be appreciating this by working hard in school.
Thank you  so much for your generosity and may God bless you.
Lots of love from 
Janet Medza  

Please can you help Give a Child a Chance, by sponsoring a child, like Janet,  TODAY.
To find out more go to: http://www.childrenofwatamu.net/school/scholarship-scheme
To set up your sponsorship online:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Six and serious, our Harry

Hitting six is a serious business for our Harry.
Harry, born on June 26, 2010, was solemn when he posed for a picture with his birthday bag of goodies at Kidz Club  - the time of the week when birthdays are celebrated together as a family.
But he's never serious for long, Harry is a busy little bee both at school and at home and a smiling bundle of energy.
Harry came home to our family when he was eight weeks old, having being found as a premature and poorly baby, discarded in a carrier bag on a rubbish dump.
Mama Sue immediately offered him a home in our family and provided everything he needed whilst he was in special care in hospital - formula milk, medicine, nappies, clothes and love. Lots of love.
SInce then he has grown and flourished into a happy and healthy little boy,
Happy birthday, Harry.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Our Brian's Blackpool family

The school council
Our little Brian is part of a family even bigger than our own!
They all his friends at Devonshire Primary Academy, Blackpool.
The school has been sponsoring Brian since he came to us as a newborn six years ago,  and has helped in so many ways.
There's a display board in school devoted to Happy House and where, thanks to Mrs Liz Heaney who keeps it updated, the children and staff can follow the progress of their Kenyan friend.
Libby Jones
Yesterday, Elizabeth Gomm went into school for two assemblies when she told the children in Keystage 1 and 2 a bit more about Happy House and the work being done by our wonderful Mama Sue and Papa Dave.
The kids were great and the keystage 1 kids joined in to sing along when she played a video of Brian and Rosie singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. 
The children also enjoyed listening to stories about our children and had some interesting questions.
There were lots of volunteers to dress up in kangas (Kenyan wraps) and to try the handbeaded jewellery. 
Deputy head, Mr Dan Simm, told the children how proud he was of the school for supporting Happy House and Brian and thanked Elizabeth for telling them more about it.
He presented her with a cheque for Brian's birthday, which will go into his child savings account.
Thank you Mr Simm, Mrs Heaney and everyone at Devonshire for your continued love and support,

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Champion effort by St Bede's

Our fantastic friends at St Bede's Catholic High School, Lytham, have raised £230 for Happy House.
Mrs Clare James' Year Eight students chose Happy House as their charity and they have worked hard to raise as much as they could.
Elizabeth Gomm went into school for a Year Eight Assembly on Tuesday, and was back yesterday for the school's annual Charities Presentation, when each year group presents cheques to their charities of choice and when the school's charity champions receive awards recognising their contribution..
The Year 8 top tcharity champions Alejandro Cano and Emily Lumby presented the cheque to Elizabeth.
She thanked Year 8 for their efforts and their continued support and told them how much their contribution was valued by our family.


It was a lovely gathering when other charities to benefit included Cafod, Trinity Hospice, YMCA Harbour House, Rosemere Cancer Trust, Fylde Food Bank and the MS Society local support group
Thank you St Bede's for your love and your kindness. Every penny will make a difference.
Picture top: Elizabeth with Alejandro and Emily, and  right: Alejandro Cano, Clayton Andrews, Higo Lowe, Louis Tupling-Baron, Megan Clayton, Heidi Broadbridge and Archie Follett

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

School Report: Exams and elocution

Their will be a sigh of relief today when our secondary students come to the end of the week-long mid-term examinations.
Teacher Md Rose says they were well prepared for their examinations, with everyone working extra hard and with additional help on hand from teachers for students struggling in any area,
" The primary section was not left behind as pupils were all striving to do their best in preparing for their midterm exams that started on Monday.
" We believe that they are going perform well and beat other schools in this, because Happy House School will always be the best.
"In addition, the kindergarten attended the sub-zonal music and choral verses competition and, as always, the results were fabulous. 
We congratulate them and wish them the best in the next level of the contest.".


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Fun and games

 There were fun and games at Happy House on Saturday.
The sports equipment came out and the kids enjoyed a whole variety of activities.
Such active kids, they jump at the chance of learning something new and different.
The little ones had fun in the adventure playground where the swings, made from old tyres, are popular with them all.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Eva's Happy House gift to her grandpa

 A little girl with a big heart staged a fundraiser for our family as part of her granpa's 70th birthday celebrations on Saturday.
And that makes three generations of Happy House fundraisers in the same family!
Eva,nine, whose mum Anna Collinge  is in Ushindi's sponsor family, wanted to do something extra for her grandpa, Mike Dickinson, when her family hosted his 70th birthday party at their houseboat in Amsterdam.
Eva says: "June 18 was my grandpa's 70th birthday party at my house In Amsterdam and he invited 20 friends of his.  So I held a fundraiser. 
I made and sold pictures, coffees and other stuff and I ended up raising £70 and 80 pence." 
That's enough to buy three new desks for school, which is a fantastic result, and it is specially nice when a child raises money for our children.
Mike, who lives on the Fylde Coast,  very kindly asked friends for donations for Happy House instead of birthday gifts.
He celebrated his birthday with family and friends with a canal cruise followed by a party at Anna's.
Mike  and his wife, Sheila, are fantastic supporters and are in Hussein's sponsor family. 
Their son Andrew who, with his wife Amy, volunteered at Happy House, has raised thousands by undertaking some tough sporting challenges. They are  in Lesley's sponsor family.
We are grateful to them all for all they do and wish Mike a very happy birthday from all the Happy House family.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

A blog about dear Mama Sue, by Sanita

Today's junior blogger Sanita came to Happy House with her younger siblings when their widowed mum, shunned and made homeless by her late husband's family, was struggling to provide for them.
They were living in an old hen house, sleeping on cardboard, and depending on anyone who would give them bits of food to eat. 
Separation did not dimish their love for each other and, a year later,  Mama made it possible for them to be reunited by giving mum Fatuma a job as a cleaner at the Happy House.
All together
She also gave her the deposit for a room in Timboni so they would be living nearby.
They are forever grateful to Mama as Sanita writes:
My name is Sanita. I am in Happy House School.
Mama Sue, I thank you because you are giving me and my sisters and brothers education.
I am so happy because of you giving our mother a job making it so we could all be living together again.
My mother is grateful for the job you gave her.
Mama Sue,  we were not going to school and it was very hard for my mother to look after us 
One day you and Uncle Billy came and took us to live at Happy House and to give us education in Happy House School.
Teaching her mum to write
Then you are giving my mother a job and she could get a room so we could all live there together.
You have got us to where we are
My friends in Happy House are Mama Sue, Papa, Aunt  Libby and all the Happy House kids - the big kids and the little kids.
I say hello to my sponsor and thank you.
Thank you , Mama Sue, for all this and for our education.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Snakes alive!

 Happy House kids entered the slithering world of snakes when they made a visit to the Snake Farm in Watamu.
Bio-Ken Snake Farm houses the largest collection of snakes in East Africa and is also a research centre offering snake removal and snake bite anti-venom services.
Mama arranged the visit for all the kids who went in three groups, 45 minutes apart.
And how the kids and their teachers enjoyed it.
Mama says: " The guides were very informative about the different types of snakes, telling them which are harmless and which are poisonous, what they eat, where they live etc. "They also explained what  you should do if you find a snake. 
"iAt the Happy House, we have already called them five or six times to come and take snakes that we have found.
"A visit ti the Snake Farm usually costs 500/- per child, but  due to the work we do in the community we were told  there would be no charge, but if we would make a donation as they too are a Foundation and rely on the kindness of others.
" They are really trying to educate many communities about the right and wrong way to deal with snakes and the bites, many of which are not life threatening but still need treatment. "The money is used for antidotes. If a local person is bitten, which seems often in the fields they will go immediately and administer the much needed medicine.
" We were told what to do if you are bitten - with the emphasis on not running, staying as calm as possible and calling for help immediately.
"He said people try to cut out the bite thinking they will get the venom out,  by the time they see the people they have to treat the infections with being cut with dirty knives as well as the bite itself.
"And being able to identify a snake could save a life in the future."
The guides were happy to answer questions and everyone had a really enjoyable time."


Friday, 17 June 2016

Brolly good show

It's raining cash for Happy House at Preston Station.
Jill Snowden, who works at the station for Virgin West Coast sells lost umbrellas with the proceeds coming to our family.
And in her most recent cheque, Jill has raised £36.50 from the unclaimed brollies.
The money will go towards helping support the free place scholarship students attending our primary and secondary schools.
Putting these kids in education – their only road out of poverty – will change their lives forever and we could not do this without the support of friends like Jill.
 Thank you Jill and to all those people who purchased an umbrella.
*Jill is pictured (centre) with station colleagues.









Thursday, 16 June 2016

Birthday joy and a sweet parting

There were greetings and goodbyes at Kidz Club this week.
The greetings were for our birthday children who all received their gifts while everyone in the family sang Happ Birthday.
The goodbyes were for Mama and Papa who explained they were going on a short trip the UK and would be back in the blink of an eye.
They set off  from Mombasa in the early hours of tomorrow, and will be spending a couple of weeks or so in the UK.
The kids will miss them as much as they will miss the kids, so Mama and Papa always make their coming away as easy as possible for the family by looking ahead to their return.
And a treat of juicy mango also made their parting a sweet one.
Birthday kids this week are twins Baraka and Amani ( pictured with Uncle Billy), Chesco (with Mama) and Emmanuel (with Papa).
Safe journey Mama and Papa.
Many happy returns also to last week's birthday trio.
Their appearance on the blog was delayed because we devoted the week to our GIve a Child a Chance campaign by highlighting some of our children and the need for more sponsors.
The children who celebrated their birthdays at Kidz Club were Farida (Eve), Lucky and Brian Hayward.
Mama handed over a birthday gift to Lucky, while Papa did the honours for Brian.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

School Report:KG kids are top performers


Happy House School hosted the Watamu Cluster  Kindergarten Music Festivals.
 More than nine schools arrived to participate in poem, choral verses, tongue twisters, and traditional dance competitions.
Happy House kids, who are lucky to have all the great facilities of their school, did well and came out with the best overall performance of all schools.
n the poems category we scored 91.5 marks with position 1, in tongue twister(video below)  we scooped position 1 with 87 points while in Kiswahili shairi we were position 2 with 76 points. 
The school now goes through to the next level of the competition.
It's a very important year for our Class Eight students who will be sitting their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in November.
Their progression to secondary school rides on this important exam and with 100 per cent pass from last year's Class Eight they have a lot to live up to.
Mama Sue takes a personal interest in every student's performance and is always on hand with advice and encouragement.
Last week she and Uncle Billy met with every class eight student to talk about their most recent exam results and  how they are getting on with their work and coping with the extra study needed.
The kids really appreciate this genuine concern and involvement and want to do well not just for themselves but for their Mama too.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Little Anna settles in

 Little Anna is all smiles now she a Happy house kid.
 Annahas now come into the safe and loving care family for as long while her mum, Riziki, has time to get herself and her life sorted out.
A lifetime of rejection and abuse finally got the better of  19-year-old mum, Riziki, who is
now undergoing counselling.
Riziki says she was first brought to Malindi, as a small child, by a family who disowned when she was around seven years old as she was constantly being told by her "siblings" that she didn't belong there.
A wellwisher, an elderly lady, took her to Mombasa where she acted as her house-help for a number of years until the lady died.  The lady's relatives returned her  to her "family" in Malindi. Her stay with them was short-lived, she sought help from a friend who referred her to some people in Nairobi needed a housegirl, but this did not work out well, as never having been to school, Riziki illiterate
She met a suitor who when their relationship became serious, took her to meet his parents. In front of her fiance, they rejected her. He caved in to his parents wishes and severed his ties with her without any explantion.
Riziki was three months pregnant,
The aguished girl was left to give birth and raise her daughter alone getting help wherever she could. 
When she met a man who promised to marry her and look after them she took his bait and moved in with him, only to find herself in an abusive relationship and in fear for both herself and her daughter.
After seeking help Riiziki and Anna found refuge in a Christian Mission.   She has now found a new job and is undergoing counselling and little Anna has come to Happy House while Riziki has time to get herself on her feet and is able to create a stable home for Anna.
Anna has gone straight into school and has made lots of new friends.
Welcome Anna.
Please can you help Give a Child a Chance, by sponsoring a child TODAY.
To find out more go to: http://www.childrenofwatamu.net/school/scholarship-schemeTo set up your sponsorship online:


Monday, 13 June 2016

Poulton bargains bag us £709

Business was brisk all last week in our Happy House "pop-up" charity shop in Poulton,
Lancashire.
As fast as stock was disappearing from the rails, more arrived, thanks to som many people who dropped off their pre-loved items.
It was a hot week, specially for our team of helpers who gave their time and energy to assist in the shop, serving customers and putting out new stock and keeping the displays looking as tidy as possible.
The premises are owned by Poulton Methodist Church. It lets the shop out to a different charity each week throughout the year in return for a fixed commission from takings.
Over six days, we raised, after commission, £709 which will go towards supporting our scholarship students.
Special thanks to all our customers, some who came in to see us every day, and to everyone who helped out.
And an extra thank you to Friday's team Heather Butler-Bancroft and Alison Bott who stayed on to help Helene and Peter Stephens, Susan Carr and Libby Gomm get all the items left (and there was lots!) sorted out ready to donate to other good causes who will make use of it in their work with those made homeless or in recovery, and the unusable and rubbish to the tip.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Ann and her sponsor Andrea

Helping in the garden
Sunday is the kids turn to take over the blog, but this week we make an exception in that the words are spoken not written and we have also let an adult chip in.
Ann, 14, the subject of our video is a very clever girl who would have been destined for early marriage had it not been for her scholarship in Happy House School.
It is our many friends, who sponsor our children, who make our work possible. People like Ann's sponsor, Andrea Manders.
Andrea was one of our very first sponsors and was in the sponsor family of Natasha, five, who was with us from being newborn until late last year when, now in better circumstances, her mum and grandma were able to take her home.
Andrea is now in Priscilla's sponsor family, but also, thanks to generous friends, sponsors a scholarship student - Ann.
Andrea tells us why it is so important to her.

We need sponsors for these kids, people who will invest in their futures and help them,as adults, to change their world for the better.
£20 a month is a small price to pay for such huge rewards. 
Please can you help Give a Child a Chance, by sponsoring a child TODAY.
To find out more go to: http://www.childrenofwatamu.net/school/scholarship-scheme
To set up your sponsorship online:





Saturday, 11 June 2016

Give A Child a Chance: The Greatest Gift

Help the child and you help the community.
Deputy head teacher at Happy House School, Mr Isaac, shares Mama's passion and belief that all children, regardless of background, deserve the very best in life.
All our teachers, led by head Md Milka, are passionate about their work and their enthusiasm fires their pupils desire to learn.
Mr Isaac says he is lucky to work in Happy House, not because of the excellent facilties and resources, but because at Happy House he can help kids who had previously been excluded from other schools for one reason only - there was no money to pay.
Now they have scholarships in our school they learn and flourish. The careers they dream of could now, with hard work, become a reality.
For 65p, the cost of a chocolate bar, or a daily paper would sponsor a child for day.
Please will you sponsor a Happy House kid and Give a Child a Chance. 
To find out more go to: http://www.childrenofwatamu.net/school/scholarship-scheme
To set up your sponsorship online:




Friday, 10 June 2016

Give a Child a Chance: Making of Moses

"Happy House has taken me from being nothing, to being something."
These 11 words, sum up  what a scholarship place in Happy House School has done for 15-year-old Moses Cosmus .
It has raised him up, lifted his spirits and given him inspiration and aspirations.
Moses is grateful for every second of every day that he is at Happy House, to Mama Sue and all those of you who support her work, for making it possible.
And for giving him opportuntities he could only dream of.
Like going on safari, where he not only saw the amazing wildlife that is his country's heritage, but where he also stayed in a lodge, swam in a swimming pool and, in the dining room,  learnt how to use a knife and fork
He is from a poor household, where luxuries are non existent, as are his classmates.
When as our first successful Kenya Certificate of Primary School Education candidates, Mama and Papa rewarded their achievement with an overnight trip to Tsavo East Game Reserve,  they were doing something that nobody in their families had ever done before.
Moses, is a clever boy who wants to succeed. With our help, and yours, he will.
We need sponsors for these kids, people who will invest in their futures and help them,as adults, to change their world for the better.
£20 a month is a small price to pay for such huge rewards. 
Please can you help Give a Child a Chance, by sponsoring a child TODAY.
To find out more go to: http://www.childrenofwatamu.net/school/scholarship-scheme
To set up your sponsorship online:



Thursday, 9 June 2016

Give a Child a Chance: Kelvin's dream

Kelvin's dreams of a career in medicine were dashed when, at the end of his primary schooling, there was no money for him to continue his education.
This bright boy, with so much to give, was devastated.
For as long as he remembers he has wanted to be a doctor, specifically a neurosurgeon.
And if, as we hope, he achieves his ambition, just think of the lives he will save.
Yet, without a scholarship in our school, this young man who is so focussed and so bright, would not have been in any school.
His education would have stopped with his Certificate of Primary School Education.
By giving him a free place in our school, and all that goes with it, he now has a chance to chase his dream. 
We desperately need your help to make this possible.
 It costs 65p a day (£20 a month) to sponsor a kid like Kelvin and to put kids from poverty and despair in education and on the road out of poverty.
Please watch this video and ask yourself if there is anything you buy each day you could do without.
 It could actually buy a child a future, 
By becoming a sponsor you can truly make a difference.
Please can you Give a Child a Chance, today.
To find out more go to: http://www.childrenofwatamu.net/school/scholarship-scheme
To set up your sponsorship online: