I am Sue Hayward; founder of this charity. In January 2000, myhusband Dave and I visited a school in Watamu; a small coastal village in Kenya, East Africa. What we saw there were children sitting on cold stone floors in old broken buildings, counting with stones. We just couldn’t believe that this was the year 2000, and children were being educated in these conditions.
Teachers had the nigh impossible task of trying to teach without pencils, papers or books. Desks and chairs were also a main priority
During that first visit we managed to have 36 desks and chairs made for 36 of the 130 children then attending the school. We travelled about 25 miles to the nearest town to purchase exercise books paper pencils, and other items just to make a teacher's job possible.
We came home on fire! We could not leave things as they were; we just had to ' Make a Difference ' I believed then as I do now that education is the road out of poverty for so many.
In July 2003 I established Children of Watamu as a registered charity. Trustees were appointed and we were now well and truly on our way.
By the end of 2003 each of the 130 children had a desk and chair; we even had 20 extras for additional recruits! We did not have to wait long. To cater for the additional children new classrooms were built and many of the old ones refurbished.
From the outset, one of our great aims was to open a library. If children can read children can learn. Thanks to the support of so many we stocked it with 50,000 books.
A follow-on ambition was to provide a Computer Room and this aim has also been achieved.
By January 2008 there were 700 children in full time education. Ages ranging from 2 years until they are able to join the workforce.
In 2007, we moved on an even bigger project - our Happy House. Again fulfilling my dream of making a family home for children who suffer from being orphaned, abandoned, neglected or abused.
In 2015, myself and Dave are Mama and Papa to 112 lovely children. Our family has its ups and its downs, it is just like any other family - only bigger!