Monday, 21 August 2017

Tables time

Our kids have been brushing up on their times tables with some competitive fun .
With tables in the banda designated to individual times tables from two to 12, the kids graduated from from to another only when they shown they were competent.
Mama Sue awarded prizes to children from the kindergarten section who did their best.
Those who received prizes (pictured)
were  Daudi, Jessica, Harry, Brian Zia, Lydia, Baraka Kaingu and Abu.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Happy holidays by Hassan

Today's blog is written by Hassan, younger brother of last week's blogger, Maria.
They were two of the first members of our family, arriving soon after we opened in 2010.
Having maintained strong links with their aunt who lives in the Gongoni area, we were able to reunite them as a family in 2015.
We continue to meet the costs of their schooling and healthcare.
We check on them often and they have just been back to Happy House for a visit.
Hassan writes:
 I have come to Happy House for a holiday and also to visit my family members and my lovely Mama and Papa.
I like being home but I miss my friends and Mama Sue and Papa, because I was with them for a long time.
 The thing that I have been doing is playing games like football, netball and volleyball. 
I also learnt some acrobats styles, and I was the best among them all.
I really had a nice time with them all, and I’m pleased to be with Mama and Papa too.
 I also enjoy the pizzas on a Saturday they were really nice and tasty.
 May God bless our beautiful and lovely Mama Sue 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Burger king and queen!

Tickling our kids tastebuds with tasty dishes they wouldn't normally get helps to brighten their outlook on the world of food.
Their introduction to pizza has been a resounding success, and so this week Mama and Papa decided to show our cooks and our kids how to make beefburgers.
Mama and Papa, who owned a hotel in Blackpool before giving up their lives in the UK to devote all their time to their Happy House family, are both accomplished cooks and enjoy passing on their knowledge.
Using the freshest ingredients, they staged a masterclass for plenty of willing helpers!
When the burgers were made they were slotted into bread rolls sliced and spread with ketchup or mayonnaise and enjoyed by some very happy eaters, making Papa and Mama the Happy House Burger King and Queen.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Doctors see bright outlook for twins

Many of the children who come into the loving care of Happy House arrive in poor health.
As we nourish them, we nurture them. We seek out the best medical help to get them well and for those with ongoing issues we ensure they are monitored and receive all the treatment they need.
Twins Gift and Tumaini were in a very poor state when they arrived in 2016.
Their mum had died of HIV Aids and their father was too sick to look after them. Both boys, who were living in poverty with an aunt,  are infected with the HIV virus and on a course of medication.
But the medicine could not work effectively because they were getting little to eat and malnourished.
We have built up their strength, with regular healthy meals and snacks, and have been supported at the monthly clinics they attend and, most important, given the medication they receive exactly as directed - twice a day and always at the same time.
They are growing and full of energy.
At their most recent visit to the specialist clinic, doctors were surprise and delighted with how well they are doing,  Blood tests revealed their viral load has reduced significantly and doctors predict that if it continues that way, they will be able to come off medication in March next year.
The medics praised Happy House for its determination to get the kids well and for its dedication to their care.
Mama said: " This is such an achievement for all concerned specially the aunties who make sure they get their medicine exactly as directed and for Uncle Ronnie who oversees the medical care of all our children.
"This is not the first time we have managed this successfully,  We had previously supported Ludwin, who was a baby when she came, until she could come off medication and she remains in good health.
"She and Lesley had returned to their mum, but sadly things have not worked out for the family and the two children are now safely back in our care - happy and healthy!''
Aunties pictured are Velma, Constance, Philis, Eunice, Fatuma, Millicent, Esther and Purity 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Brian's looking up!

Huge congratulations to Brian Makotsi for being promoted to sleeping upstairs.
Kids have to earn the the right to sleep upstairs by showing they are responsible and well behaved and once Mama and Uncle Ronnie are satisfied that they deserve to share a room upstairs they move.
Brian was delighted when it was announced at Kidz Club that he was on the move, with Mama praising him for being a kind and responsible boy,
Well done Brian.
Apologies to anyone who read the blog earlier, Auntie Libby accidentally named the wrong Brian ... it can be confusing when there are three in the family!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Beach babes and Christmas date

Splashing in the sea and playing on the sand ... just what holidays are for!
A trip to the beach is always a a treat for out kids and they trooped down as a family, with aunties and teachers to supervise, for a morning on the beach.
They enjoyed frolicking in the water before drying off in the sunshine while playing on the beach. Some making sand castles and others playing games.
One group of boys had great fun burying their Brian in the sand!
Little Elizabeth was belle of the beach in her swimsuit and shades!
And after a very happy morning, the wear band of brothers and sisters returned to Happy House in time for a tasty lunch.


Christmas is coming ...

Christmas at Happy House will come early so that the children, repatriated to their families, can come back to join in the celebrations - just as they did last year.
The week-long activities will be from December 10-16.
Our friends from overseas are always welcome, but Mama Sue says it is very helpful if they let her know in advance that they will be visiting at the time.
Indeed, if anyone is intending to visit at any time of the year, not just Christmas, please let Mama Sue know.  
We like to make sure the whole family know you are coming and, if you are a sponsor, to make sure your sponsor child knows and can look forward to seeing you.
That way we can make it a special time for you, and for them.
So please, as soon as you book your holiday, drop Mama an email:

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

UP WE GO!

The team of acrobats who thrilled the kids with their amazing skills a week ago, have made a welcome return to Happy House,
In a thrilling training session the acrobats put the kids through some exercises before supervising them as they tried to copy some of their formations.
Our David, six,  who as we all know is a determined little acrobat himself, received some one to one support and at the close of the show he ended up on top of the world at the acrobats elevated him to the top of their human tower      

Monday, 14 August 2017

Birthdays galore


Sorry to bring you birthday news from last week a bit late.
Samson had the happy task of presenting Purity with her birthday gift at Kidz Club.
Purity was delighted with her gifts and the greeting she received from all our Happy House family. 
There were more birthdays to celebrate  with greetings and gifts -Mariam who is pictured with Aunty Rose, Gift  with Aunty Velma, Tumaini pictured with Aunty Philis and a very smiley Joshua with Papa.
Happy birthday kids

Sunday, 13 August 2017

My holiday at Happy House, by Maria

Brother and sister Hassan and Maria were two of the first members of our family, arriving sooner after we opened in 2010.
Having maintained strong links with their aunt who lives in the Gongoni area, they were able to go to live with her in late 2015, whilst we continue to support the costs of their education in a local school and any healthcare costs.
They have settled well. They came back for the reunion last Christmas and are always delighted to see Mama, Papa and Uncle Ronnie when they visit,
In this school holidays they asked Mama if they could come for a "home" visit and, naturally, she said yes.
Maria, 16, has written today's blog.
" I am very glad to be here with  Mama Sue and  I really enjoy this holiday. 
We have done so many activities like learning playing football and going for nature walk. 
We have really learnt much,  Mr. Isaac has really helped me in some of the weak subjects like mathematics and science.
Mama Sue really cares for us and I really love her.  She loves small kids and everyone else in the Happy House family.
 On Saturday we normally take pizzas for lunch and enjoy them so much. I also enjoy cooking in the kitchen and washing utensils too. Making coffee is the best thing I like to do.
 All the snacks, lunch and dinner are all good for me and for my health as they are for all the children. The room which I sleep is really good, I like the bed, lockers and breeze. My room captain is Rukia and how lovely she is.
She is kind, polite, honest and a good role model for young people.
 I also learnt some of the good manners like please, thank you, pardon, excuse me please and so many different words from Rukia and the other kids. 
Mama Sue is always good and she likes kids with good behaviours..  
Having such a beautiful home like Happy House is such a privilege and opportunity."

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Teachers outrun by kids!

 There's no challenge our Happy House kids enjoy more than taking on their teachers at sports.
And they had the best time when they played games of football and volleyball  hammering the teachers in both, even though they had Auntie Millicent on their side,
Baraka Mkutano scored both goals in the soccer game and in volleyball the kids won with one set.
Those youngsters not playing were spectators cheering on their brothers and sisters with cries of Happy House power, super power!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Safe and sound

Reports of some unrest following the Kenya elections have caused concern for some of our friends.
Mama Sue has received emails from people worried that the Happy House may be affected and asking if all is well.
The elections have in fact been more peaceful than in previous years,
Today, Mama explains just how things are at Happy House this week and  says thank you for caring.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Brushing up

Our kids are enjoying the school holidays, spending some time having fun and games whilst also having a chance to work with teachers on brushing  up on their studies in areas where they are weakest.
They all want to do well, so they really enjoy doing a bit extra to take them nearer to that goal.
And when their books are put away at the end of the session, it's out to play.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Head over heels in love with life

David has a place in the hearts of all our Happy House friends all over the world.
And today's video is another celebration of a little life we were told would probably never amount to anything. 
When, at 11 months, he was diagnosed with Down's Syndrome, Mama Sue was told "just take him home and love him".
We did much more than give him love, sought expert advice, put a programme of  three -times daily exercises into practice, and our whole family, kids and adults, encourage him to take part in everything we do. 
We ensure David, six, has additional help in school and at home and time and time again he rewards our efforts with his courage and his smiles and his results.
So when the acrobats came to Happy House to perform for our kids, David wanted to show them they were not the only people who could do cartwheels ...
Please share this blog with your friends and family, we need more sponsors for our kids, more funds to ensure we can continue to transform more lives and bring out the best in every child.
 For information on how to sponsor or to donate go to www.childrenofwatamu.net

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Aiming high!

The thrills and spills of being an acrobat were demonstrated to our kids when Mama invited a team of professional tumblers from Malindi to put on a show at Happy House.
The skill of the four-man team, who work together entertaining local and tourists in local hotels and restaurants captivated our youngsters who watched intently.
Using precision moves they performed extraordinary and thrilling gymnastic and tumbling routines for their excited audience who were watching every act of agility, coordination and skill.
After their show, the acrobats spent three hours working with our would-be acrobats showing them how its done.
With patience they explained and demonstrated their moves and got the kids, and teachers, taking part.
Madam Getry and Mr Isaac leading the way for the teachers!
It was a fun time for everyone and the pros will be returning for a second workshop soon.
Sports tutor Mr Steve said: "We thank Mama Sue for the brilliant ideas she has had to take this activity forward, not only did we have acrobats to demonstrate but also to show us how to do what they do.
"Mama always says "You can be the best you can be if you try hard and want to be.
" And at Happy House our kids all want and believe that they can be the best and make Happy House the best."

Monday, 7 August 2017

Harvest home

 Maize is the staple crop in Kenya and in every community a large percentage of small farmers depend on it for an income and also to feed their families.
So understanding how to cultivate this key crop is essential to every young person - and at Happy House it is no different.
Our kids prepare the land and plant the maize seed in readiness for the approaching rains, and once the rains come and the seedlings shoots up they keep the maize plots free from weeds.
Last week, our maize was ready to harvest so the kids were out in the garden eager to bring it home to the our kitchen.
No sooner than had they delivered the precious crop to our cooks, they were back out on the plots clearing the land, tilling the soil and getting ready to sow a second crop.

Harvest of hope...
It's six years since I first wrote these words for a Blackpool harvest festival which was supporting Happy House, writes Elizabeth Gomm.
They are relevant now as they were then.
At the Happy House our harvest is about much more than producing crops to feed our family ...  it is also about growing our children.
These vulnerable little souls who come to us with so little; hungry, frightened, fragile and poorly, with few expectations or aspirations.
They are our seedlings, plucked from poorer soil, which we plant in our fertile garden of hope.
We nurse their ills, nourish their bodies, feed their minds and nurture them ,  each as an individual, with love, honesty and respect.
We see them grow and flourish.
Slowly at first, as if shy to break through the hard earth and then, with strength restored and confidence growing, they spring into life, a vibrant force eager to soak  up every opportunity given to them and learning, enthusiastically, every lesson taught.
We watch them blossom, t
heir smiles brighter than the Kenyan sun.
As our Happy House grows, with YOUR help, YOUR love and YOUR support,  we can add more classes to our school, grow more crops, and make room for ever more children in our  home and school family.
Only then will we start to gather in our true harvest ... over many, many, years to come.
Our harvest will come from the hope we sow, and which will remain, forever, in our children's hearts.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Our magic is your doing, by Moses

Moses is a talented yound man who education was punctuated with long gaps out of school because of financial constraints on his family, until he was given a free scholarship place at Happy House school.
Three years on, he has passed his KCPE and is now in our secondary school and getting ever nearer his goal of becoming a doctor.
He writes:
Hi everyone, I am form two  secondary student in this lovely and joyful Happy House family.
I just want you to know that am glad to be called one of the kids in Happy House.
I am now in the third year of getting a scholarship and being in this lovely family living the  lovely life I had been longing to live so that I could secure my  future. This is thanks to your help and our  nurturing mum Mama sue.
I had been struggling for so long because of my background, dreaming of th education to take me towards my goals and ambitions. Now my dream has come true. 
This has been brought about by you and your support that helps to make the Happy House magic.
The spirit in this land of opportunity is soaring. We believe in Happy House Power and  Girl Power too. 
Thank you so much for supporting the Happy House, my friends say they have seen so many changes in me since I came to Happy House.
We scholarship students had nothing to laugh or smile about before coming here, but now we can always smile because those difficulties in education are gone. That is Happy House magic.
We also have healthy foods which boost our learning power and because of this we all look "Wow"!
Thank you for making it possible for us kids.

We need your support NOW

 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.
 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

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Birthday double

Two birthdays to celebrate at Happy House this week.
The birthday children who took centre stage at Kids Club for family greetings and gifts were Stephano Sifa and Jessica Khadija.
Papa handed  gifts over to Stephano whilst Mama did the honours for Jessica.
Have birthday kids.

Friday, 4 August 2017

New moves

 With so many keen young acrobats in our family, Mama
 decided to fire their imagination by showing them some videos on YouTube..

They watched  the carefully chosen videos of top gymnasts with interest and then went off to practice their moves.
A couple of days later and they were ready to show what they'd learnt much to the delight of all the family.
Watch out for more to come, they are sure to have something new and exciting on the cards.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Puzzling time

School's out for four weeks.
Term dates have been altered this year to ensure the general election on August 8 is during this current break.
Happy House is having a holiday club when our kids will be enjoying lots of organised activities in the mornings, centred on learning through play, with afternoons for sporting fun and games.
Yesterday, our some of younger kids had a puzzling time putting together jigsaws as you can see in the picture.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Celebrating success - and effort

Secondary Form 1 (top) and Primary Class 2
Our Happy House School celebrated the end of term with a wonderful closing day celebration of talent, achievement and effort.
With the entire school, pupils and staff, guardians and relatives attending the school banda was full for a show put on by each class from playgroup right through kindergarten and primary to high school.
Students, many in costume, were well rehearsed for their performances which delighted their audience.
The presentation of awards also took place
 The best class in lower primary was class two, in upper primary the award was presented to class four.
Class 4
The most improved class was class two making it a double!..
In secondary school, class one received the best class accolade
Pupils received certificates for their performance for high achievements and for improvement.
Effort is always recognised at Happy House with Mama  and her team always encouraging each child to be the best that he or she can be.



We need your support NOW

 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.
 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

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

One family looks at another!

 Helping at Happy House was a family affair for Andrea Manders and her kids Ellena and Alex and they loved every minute.
Now back at home in Poulton, Lancashire,  with husband and dad, Paul, they have taken time to reflect on their amazing experience.
Andrea writes:
During our time at the Happy House School Ellena, Alex and I spent time in various classrooms.
 Alex was asked by the KG2 teacher to do maths with the class.  He wrote a sum on the board.  Almost instantly one boy and one girl shouted out, “Next”, until there were 8 sums on the board.  Alex then wrote two more challenging sums, the teacher did not think the class would manage it – most did. I spent time with a girl who was taking time to answer the questions.  Alex started going around to those who had finished.  He marked Natasha’s work (one of my sponsor girls), she got 10/10!  She was so pleased with herself and I was so proud of her!
 In another class I discussed letter writing and the class compiled a letter to send to a friend.  We talked about sending and receiving letters versus emails.
 With Class 8, who will be taking their Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in December, were working on an exercise from their text books on the use of ‘Who’ and ‘Whose’.  This we did together.  When they had finished they asked if they could ask me some questions – they asked me about myself and about the UK, which turned into a mini geography lesson.
Alex writes:
 My experience with the Happy House was awesome! I had seen a few pictures beforehand and heard my Mum talk non-stop about everything they do, but I hadn’t quite grasped how big of an operation it actually was.
 There are over 300 pupils at the school which must be a handful for Mama Sue and all of the staff to manage. 
The children at the school were all very friendly and wanted to meet me, especially the younger kids. I taught a KG 2 maths class where I stood at the front and gave them questions to answer (adding and subtracting). 
There were 2 pupils at the back that were competing against each other to see who was the quickest, and when they had answered they shouted, “Next!"
Ellena writes:
 Arriving at the Happy House School to a sea of singing voices was very warming and special.
 It was personal to us as our sponsor girls Natasha, Priscilla and Ann greeted us. We toured the school and I was amazed at how much had been built. With all space utilised for either a classroom or library or special study place.
All of the children so eager to learn. The baby class loved picture books. They learnt words through these illustrations. The older classes were revising from their exams, learning from the mistakes they had made in grammar and sentence function questions.
 We also helped out on the grocery shop. Loading all the essentials from the local town into the car and cramming the boot shut. There is a lot of growing mouths to feed. 
 Spending time at the Happy House was another huge part of our time. Mama Sue and Papa Dave talked us through the internal workings of how it is so successful for the kids. It is wonderful to see the staff so passionately involved in the family also. The true feeling of the family environment and fun really stood out.
 We enjoyed celebrating the end of exams party. Which had great food, great atmosphere and even greater performers. 
We had an incredible time at the Happy House and Happy House School.