The House of Happiness Children’s Programme provides quality education, housing and developmental support for a group of 14 highly vulnerable children.
The House of Happiness Children’s Home was founded in 2012 by Australian Vari Galletly, who was deeply moved by the hardships faced by vulnerable children in Tanzania. In May 2015, after several years of working closely together, the House of Happiness Children’s Home joined with Umoja to provide a higher level of organisational and financial stability, knowledge, and expertise for both organisations. Staff and supporters from the two organisations now work together to provide everything young children need to reach their full potential.
The House of Happiness children have faced extreme hardships throughout their young lives that have led them to need the support of the programme. Many are from rural areas where they were unable to access schooling, medical support or basic needs such as sufficient food and sanitation. Others are victims of physical or sexual abuse and a few are orphans without anyone to care for them. Two of the children had severe behavioural issues before coming into our care and this had led to escalating violence in an attempt to ‘correct’ their behaviour.
The children are boarding at various carefully selected schools in Arusha. The nine youngest are enrolled at Dinka Primary School and return to Umoja each weekend to spend time with our staff. Due to their family circumstances, Umoja provides everything for these children. This includes private education (inclusive of uniforms, fees, books, and stationery), nutritious food, medical and social welfare support (including weekly counselling and mentoring), and sports and other recreational activities.
Wherever possible, our social welfare team endeavour to keep the children connected to their families and communities. We work with the communities to ensure that these important bonds are maintained in a safe and positive way. Research shows it is beneficial for children to be a part of their various tribes, traditions and cultures.
Umoja will not be recruiting additional young children for the House of Happiness programme as we focus on our core programme area working with vulnerable youth and their families. We are however, fully committed to providing the very best care and educational opportunities to this vulnerable group of children until they are independent adults.