Saturday, 22 July 2017

School is the tops!

Officials from the district education department made a special visit to Happy House to congratulate the school on our Class 8 taking second place in the zone.
They presented headteacher Mr Isaac with 3,000KSH (£22) for the school to mark the result.
Mama said: "There was three representatives who have insisted that Happy House is number 1 at the end of term exams. 
"They praised our school and our teaching methods, so we felt very proud."

Thank you

Many thanks to Jennifer Wollniok from Germany for calling in at Happy House to 
bring balls and pencils for our children.
The balls are great for helping our children to develop hand eye coordination and
no matter how big or small every child loves to kick a ball.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Helping out at Happy House

Andrea, Ellena and Alex Manders have been busy helping out in our Happy House school.
As exams are taking place this week for the older kids, they have been helping  with the little ones in the kindergarten.
Mama was thrilled with all the gifts they brought, and also with the £1000 raised by Andrea's Happy House At Home fundraising event.
Andrea had asked Mama if the money could be used to do the Happy  House family shopping and she, Ellena and Alex, had the interesting experience of going out on the shop with driver Noah and Papa Dave yesterday.Andrea said
 Many households do a weekly or big shop, the Happy House is no different. Ellena, Alex and I, joined Noah on his weekly trip into Timboni. There are 66 Happy House kids plus 239 school children to feed. Papa Dave ensures he pays a fair price and as such, gets value for money. This supports the local economy too. My aim before I left England, was to raise enough money to cover this weekly shopping – around 450 pounds. With kind and generous donations from family and friends, I raised just over 1000 pound- enough for two weeks.
A small banana is 5 Kenyan shillings, about 3p. Apples come in at 30 Kenyan shillings each, about 18p. Making them a treat!
The items we collected this morning cost 43,000 Kenyan shillings – 323 pounds.Meat, fruit and vegetables and charcoal for cooking is due for delivery later
Our thanks to Andrea and to all her family and friends who supported her fundraising and made her shopping expedition possible.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

School Report: Exams come round again

The computer room has been in use every minute of every day  as high school students have using it  before and after lessons brush up on revision for the end term exams started this week, reports Md Neema
Primary pupils have also been preparing for exams.
Students had a debate on the subject : Polygamous marriage is better than monogamous marriage?
Debates help students inn confidence and to perfect their use of the English language.
Kindergarten kids really enjoy their break times when then have snacks and a chance to play - often in the sandpit.
Play is so important to their development and helps them to be sharing and caring.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Happy House dream come true for Andrea

Everything she has seen, read and heard about, became a reality for Andrea Manders when she walked through the gates of our Happy House.
Andrea started helping in 2009
And there was an all-singing and all-dancing welcome awaiting her and her children Ellena and Alex.
Andrea's three sponsor children Natasha Thoya, Priscilla and scholarship student Ann Joseph were waiting to to say hello along with  all our family ready and eager to put on a show - just for them! 
 Andrea, from Poulton, Lancashire, has been supporting Happy House since it was just a dream in the making for Mama Sue - and one that supporters like, Andrea, helped to turn into a reality.
Not only has Andrea sponsored, she's also held and helped with fundraising events - her latest, held earlier this month, raised more than £1000.
Mama and Papa always want to make sure that our friends who visit have a wonderful experience which gives them memories to treasure long after they've left.
Andrea said: "Ellena, Alex and I arrived at the Happy House School to be greeted by Natasha , who is seven, Priscilla, who is 10,  and  16 year old Ann  – it was hugs all around and a few tears (me not the girls). 
All the school were assembled in the banda.
I took the hands of Natasha and Priscilla and walked to the front. 
Mama Sue greeted the children “Happy House Power”. 
Then we watched a show given by the children of all ages  which included singing, dancing and acrobatics. It was thoroughly entertaining.
 Afterwards, the children went to their lessons and we had a tour around the school.

 For over 7 years, I have seen photos of the land and then the buildings, and the children, of course,  but to actually be here in person, at last,  was quite overwhelming. " 
And for Natasha, who Andrea started sponsoring when she arrived at Happy House as a baby, it was a chance to meet the friend who has helped and encouraged her all her life.
Andrea was able to give Natasha the album she started putting together for her when she was just a baby and in which she an see the story of her own little life.
She is also a wonderful friend to Priscilla and Ann and took along gifts for them too, plus many things for our family.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Laptops outlay

 We've just had to spend £900 on three new laptops.
One is for Auntie Velma, who sends out updates to sponsors. Her laptop was reconditioned, old and very, very slow, making her job difficult as sending emails had become a real problem.
The other two are needed in our school.
If anyone would like to make a donation towards the cost, and we would be so grateful for any amount no matter how small, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/childrenofwatamu/Donate


SPONSORS  NEEDED

Of our 93 scholarship students, we have 55 without sponsors.
 Not just to help support their education financially but also to become a friend who will, through emails, letters and postcards, open another window on their world and to encourage them in their studies.
It costs just £20 a month to sponsor a scholarship student and to light up a life.
£20 provides all a youngster needs - schooling, uniform, books, PE kit plus nourishing breakfast, lunch and snack.
Our scholarship scheme is for children whose need is proven and who show a commitment to learn.
We need your support NOW
 Please tell your friends about us, encourage them to sponsor; hold a fundraising event or make a one-off donation.
Together we ARE changing lives and together we will change many more
For details of how to set up a sponsorship please email: elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net 


Monday, 17 July 2017

55 kids need sponsors - can you help?

 We desperately need people to sponsor a child, from abject poverty, who is only in school because they have a free place at Happy House School on our Dr Danwata Scholarship Scheme.
Each of the students pictured here with Mama Sue needs a sponsor. 
Of our 93 scholarship students, we have 55 without sponsors.
 Not just to help support their education financially but also to become a friend who will, through emails, letters and postcards, open another window on their world and to encourage them in their studies.
It costs just £20 a month to sponsor a scholarship student and to light up a life.
£20 provides all a youngster needs - schooling, uniform, books, PE kit plus nourishing breakfast, lunch and snacks.
We do now ask parents to buy shoes as Mama believes they should be encouraged to make a commitment in this way.
Young people also receive deodorants, toothpaste and toothbrushes, sanitary pads for the older girls and shoe polish and a brush.
To cut the risk of fires and ill health from kerosene lamps, we give them solar lanterns so they can read at home, in safety, when darkness falls.
Our scholarship scheme is for children whose need is proven and who show a commitment to learn.
We need your support NOW
 Please tell your friends about us, encourage them to sponsor; hold a fundraising event or make a one-off donation.
Together we ARE changing lives and together we will change many more
For details of how to set up a sponsorship please email: elizabethgomm@childrenofwatamu.net

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Our Mama by Phillip

Scholarship student, Phillip Khonde, 14, makes the most of every day in our school and all the opportunities it has brought him.
He writes today's blog:
Hello, How you are all?
My name is Phillip.
I would like to thank our Mama Sue for the great things she has done for me and us at large.
Secondly, a vital thing she has proved to me and us all that she would like us to proceed well in our studies     
To help in that she has even brought the internet to our school to widen our learning.
 I and all of her students appreciate her great deeds.



Saturday, 15 July 2017

Chocolate milk ...our Mama must love us

Building strong and healthy bones  needs a calcium rich diet so Mama makes sure our Happy House little ones have a milky hot chocolate every day - and they lap it up!
And if the way the to man's heart is through his stomach, Mama has cracked it!
One small chap told the aunties: "Our Mama must love us very much, she gives us chocolate milk."
Yes, young man, she certainly does.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Schools go head to head on sportsfield

 Happy House Primary School took on Happy House Secondary School in a friendly sports day, reports Mr Steve.
The girls played netball and boys played volleyball.
It was a very tough competition as both sides were determined to win the day and fought hard.
High School girls won 5 to 4 , but for the boys it was a draw with primary winning the first set with 25 to 17 
and the second set going to high school with 21 to 20.
For the contest the high school teams sported  orange bibs and the primary wore green.
Hard fought matches made it a very exciting spectacle for everyone concerned, students and teachers.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Kidz Club celebrations

 Kidz Club had a special greeting for Mama and Papa this week when the children sang songs to welcome them home after a brief break to get some rest and relaxation.
Everyone misses them when they are away so it's always good to know they are home safe, sound and refreshed.
There was one birthday to celebrate - Natasha Franco. She received her gift bag from Mama Sue.
Star of the Week was awarded to John, recovered after a week long sickness, for being brave. Papa Dave presented him with his certificate.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

School Report: Top talkers

Gabriel
Two of our scholarship students now in secondary school have been rewarded for their debating skills, writes Mr. Mramba
Moses
Moses Cosmus and Gabriel Mwarabu received certificates for their outstanding performances during a debating competition at Ngala Girls Secondary School. 
Teacher Md Elizabeth presented them with their awards.
Congratulations to both boys.
Students across school are studying with great seriousness for the upcoming end of term examinations, determined to do well for themselves and for their school.
Teachers working hard to ensure each pupil is exam ready.
Students and teachers are also finding time to rehearse for  the school closing ceremony. 
The end of term has been brought forward this year to ensure that all schools are on holiday when the General Election take place on August 8.



Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Welcome back Natasha

After going on an extended visit to her mum and grandmum, Natasha Thoya has come bouncing back to Happy House.
Natasha's mum was just a young teenager when she had Natasha and was traumatised by the birth so her baby came into our safe and loving care.
This gave the mum a chance to recover, complete her education and to grow up. 
 She visited Natasha regularly and, with her own mother to help, was in a position to have Natasha on an extended visit, with Happy House supporting her education and medical care,
Natasha settled well and enjoyed going to a local school where she was working hard.
But recently, her mum moved to the island of Lamu in search of work and the grandmum was struggling to look after Natasha.
Mama and Uncle Ronnie agreed it was in Natasha's best interests to bring her home, where her friends were waiting to welcome her with juice and biscuits,  and it's just as though she's never been away.
"The children are so well adjusted they adapt immediately.  She's as happy as she's ever been," said Mama.
"Work is uncertain for many people here and migrating to Lamu does open up new opportunities.
"Natasha's links with her family will be maintained just as always and we will continue to monitor the family situation."

Monday, 10 July 2017

Mariam back for medical care

After settling happily into an extended stay with her older sister, Mariam, has returned to Happy House for a short stay.
She developed an infection in her leg and with medication and medical care in short supply because of prolonged doctors and nurses strike in Government health facilities, we brought her home for treatment at a private clinic.
The infection is not serious and  with the right treatment she'll soon be back to full health and will return to her sister's to join her younger siblings, Saumu and Suleiman.
The two youngest, Fred and Rose, are remaining in our care.
All the kids are fine and doing well.
Mama Sue said: "The children always come first and getting Mariam the care she needs for her leg is our priority.
"Uncle Ronnie is liaising with the private clinic."

Mama Sue was very touched by the very kind reactions she received to the updates on our Happy House kids sent out to sponsors and for their backing for all she doing..
We have decided to publish just a few of them:
"Thank you so much for the update on our lovely Charity.  It's been such a privilege to sponsor her.  The charity not only changed her life but mine too.  I remember when she first came to Happy House (where have the years gone?) and I still feel as passionate about it as I did then.   You and your amazing team worked wonders, as you do for all the children. "  

"I am so pleased to know that Peninah is happy with her grandmum.
 I always keep her with me in my thoughts,it was my pleasure to be a little part in her life.Thank you all once again for your care and love to all this children and to us too!"


 "We are so glad Baraka and all his brothers and sisters continue to thrive in the safety of Happy House."

"Thank you for the news about Dulla. I'm so pleased everything is going well for him and his family.
I am pleased to be able to contribute in some small way to the wonderful work you do at Happy House and hope to be able to visit in the near future."


"Thank you for keeping us up-to-date with news of Pendo.
We are pleased to know she is safe, well and happy.
Please give her our love and kisses and tell her we think
of her often. Love to everyone in the Happy House."


"What great news. I am very pleased for Lesley and Ludwin that they are back living with their mum.
 My best wishes and congratulations to Mama Sue."


"Thank you so much for the update on Erick.  He looks like such a sweet boy and his exam results are so good!  How wonderful that he is safe and well and with his brothers if not his mother.  I hope she is able to build a safe and stable life for herself and the boys.
 I really enjoy all the updates on Facebook and I can’t wait to come visit one day hopefully soon! "

"Thank you so  much for the update on Ludwin. I am really happy that she has regular contact with her mum now and is receiving the education that will hopefully make a difference to her in the future."


Sunday, 9 July 2017

My best teacher, by Husna

Today's blogger is Happy House kid Husna, aged 11.
" Hello everyone, my name is Husna. I am in class three.
My best teacher is called Md. Naomi. She is as beautiful as a rainbowI love her the way I love myself because she is very kind. She teaches us the way she was taught when she was young.
She teaches us Kiswahili and CRE very well. 
She loves us with all her heart and she takes care of everybody. 
Many people love her because of her respect and kindness and she does what must be done. Because of how she teaches us we do well.
Everybody says  they would want to be like her. God loves her. Her parents also love her as they were loved when they were young.
If you are not performing well and you are taught by her you will perform better until everyone will say that your teacher is very bright and they will start asking her what she did for the pupils to make them perform well.
She would say that she is teaching us all in the same way.
Teacher Naomi tells us stories that help us in being good children. She follows rules and what the Bible says too. She listens to what her boss tells her.
If someone does wrong, she corrects and forgives him or her.

She is a very helpful teacher."

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Visitor from UK and school visit in UK!

We were delighted to welcome visitors from England who are in Watamu for holiday.
Friends Lucy Caistor and Susie Laybourn were taken on a tour of both Happy House home and school, met our children and were delighted with our work.
They very kindly brought essetials including nappies, sanitary pads, toothpaste & brushes, toiletries, clothes, coloured pencils and books which will be of great use to our family.
Thank you to Lucy and Susie for taking time to come to see us and for all your gifts.

Blackpool school talk

Back in the UK, Elizabeth Gomm has been back to Blackpool's Devonshire Primary Academy for a special Happy House assembly.
She showed the children a short video and then told them the story, with pictures, of their sponsor friend Brian.
The school has sponsored Brian since he came to Happy House as a tiny baby and he has a very important place in the school family.
Elizabeth took along some traditional Kenya kanga wraps, belts and jewellery,some carvings including Masai warrior Musyoka, who is staying in school for their Happy house fundraising week.
Thanks to everyone at Devonshire for all your love and support, we hope your fundraising week is lots of fun!


Friday, 7 July 2017

Inspiring a new generation

Happy House was delighted to be invited to take its message to every student going up into Year 8 at St Aidan's CE High School, Preesall, Lancashire.
Over the course of five hour-long sessions yesterday, our UK coordinator Elizabeth Gomm reached dozens of young people in the hope they would learn something about the plight of many needy children, of how the Happy House is able to help some, and to inspire them do something to make a difference - just like our founder, Mama Sue.
After showing a video of Happy House, she told them the story of one of our children and asked them to imagine they were walking in that child's shabby shoes on the tragic journey which led to her finding a new home and hope with our wonderful family.
Her story included many of issues, some specific to girls,  facing so many Kenyan children who are orphaned, abandoned or neglected.
Elizabeth also emphasised the value and importance of education, something the British kids are lucky enough to able to take for granted, when there are so many impoverished kids in Kenya, and many other countries, who are denied any schooling because of of their impoverished circumstances.
She explained that every child was desperate to go to school because they knew education was their only road out of poverty.
Reflecting
The students also learnt more about Stephen, the little boy sponsored by Mrs Rossall's K7 class.
St Aidan's helps Happy House in many ways, and while the development day was taking place Mrs Rossall and students were baking biscuits which will be sold in school today to raise money for Happy House.
Elizabeth said:" This was the third year I have been invited into St Aidan's for the Year 8 development day and I was, once again, impressed by the the students who listened intently and really attempted to put themselves in the place of the children we are helping.
"They took an active part and asked some very good questions, they also had some very intelligent answers for the questions posed to them.
'' "I hope they will hold our Happy House in their hearts throughout their lives.
"At the end of the session they were asked to write their reflections on Happy House, and I was very touched by some of those I got to read. one student wrote:
Reflections
"Happy House is run by Sue Hayward. She is the most caring and loving person by setting up this home and school."
Another wrote:
"I am simply amazed by what Happy House does every day of every week of every year."
Elizabeth said:"Thank you St Aidan's for making us a part of this special day and thanks to the students who took part, to teacher Mrs Rachel Fowler for spending the day with me, and to Mrs Rossall, K7, and the entire school for their continued support."

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Star kids

A very proud group of  youngsters, our Kidz Council, have received Mama's Star of the week Award.
Mama said: "They are brilliant keeping discipline, guiding our little people, helping the aunties in  so many ways.
Thank you kids."

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

School Report: Classy achievements

Class 4- best in upper primary
There was joy and celebration when pupils returned to school after their mid-term break. It was a happy day at Happy House as the kids celebrated their big academic improvement shown in results of recent exams,  as compared to the results of the start of term "wake-up" exams.
It was a great day as Mama, Papa and Uncle Ronald were in school to mark the academic prowess of Happy House pupils.
Their presence was highly appreciated.  Mama plays a very important part in our academics by engaging the learners in one on one talks on a regular basis keeping them focused and motivated.
Uncle Ronald is in school for a time every day to be on hand for the children.
The class awards were announced:
Class 3 - best and most improved in lower primary
Class 4 maintained their position as top class, ranked position one overall in the primary section. It was their day as they were awarded a trophy for being the best class as all the pupils in class four showed a positive improvement.
Class 3 were the academic giants of the lower primary section as they were crowned the best class and the most improved class overall in the lower primary section.Their class could not hide their joy by emerging winners twice!
The top three classes in the upper primary section were :
Class 4 in first place; Class 8 second and third place went to Class 7.
We constantly strive to be the best and to give pupils a real belief in themselves and their school.
"Mama always puts it clearly  saying; " You can do it if you want to do it” .
And results show how much our students want to achieve .
As a school we believe  we are the best and ours is the best learning hub in the zone.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Telling Mothers about Mama

The generous members of  the Mothers Union from St Chad's Church, Poulton. Lancashire, opened their hearts to our Happy House family when Elizabeth Gomm was their guest speaker.
Elizabeth told them the story of Sue's road to the Happy House and of the inspirational and trailblazing work she has been doing since it opened seven years ago.
They were very touched to hear how Happy House is leading the way in rebuilding families and impressed by the high-standard of childcare and education being provided.
Elizabeth received donations totalling £96.
Thank you ladies.