Cameroon: L’eau Claire in operation

Since the inauguration in April 2017, the new centre has been very busy.


Especially since Thursdays have been added to the program. This extra day is dedicated to children who need more tutoring and those preparing for exams.

The new centre is closer and more accessible by the road. It is already well known by the people, as much as the dispensary, which receives more and more patients each week.


Regular and “Vacationer” children are numerous at the moment.


During holidays, activities are generally more physical (gardening) and manual (artisanal creation). The children have already been preparing the soil of the garden since the inauguration. They are numerous to be involved in this activity. We are impatiently expecting the first crops !



Last novelty this summer: François du Jardin Eden came to organise a French Theatre workshop.




Cameroon: our SBA driver, Merlin

You may probably have seen him before on our pictures, standing next to our students or the SBA team.

Let me introduce Merlin, the official driver of the SBA for our travels in Cameroon.


Or maybe should we say “Colonel VIP Prestige”, like the name of his taxi.

During travels in Cameroon, the SBA team prefers working with a full time taxi driver, to manage the always busy travel and meeting plans.

Merlin, taxi driver in the city of Yaounde, had previously worked for Elisabeth, President of the association. This is why she introduced him to us and we appointed him as our official taxi driver for his great pleasure.

Merlin has 4 children (3 to 10), including Merveille, in the arms of Jenna, and Lionel, in the arms of Lionel …

As we already mentioned, it is quite common in Cameroon to name a child according to a person encountered, or to honour this person. There are for example four Elisabeth in Bangangté. Merlin first encountered Lionel 3 years ago … and know Merlin became our “Colonel VIP Prestige”!

Thanks to SBA, Merlin and his family also benefit from primary care and school material for the children.


Cameroon: Academic results 2016-2017

We just received the results of the 2016-2017 exams from the participants of our centres. Here they are by diploma:

Baccalaureate (general and technical): 64% success

Probatoire (equivalent to Baccalaureate in 1ere): 47% success

CAP: 50%

BEPC: 50%

Exam for entry in 6eme: 100%

CEP (exam for entry in primary school): 100%


Regarding intermediate levels, 93% of the children get to the next level.

We are very proud of these results and of our teams, especially reading this article. According to the information published in the Cameroon press,

2017 exams reached only a 46% success rate in the country, compared to 52% in 2016.

Cameroon records 46 % success at the Baccalaureate in 2017, with 45356 admitted for 104296 registered at the Baccalaureate Office of Cameroon (OBC). Results were down compared to the provious year, where 54348 students passed their exams (52%).

The Centre Region arrived at the first place of the OBC rating with 48,99% success. It is followed by the Littoral (48,71%) and the Adamaoua (48,29%).

The English-speaking part of the country enters the OBC rating with 44,14% for the North-West and 41,16% in the South-West.”

We will keep on track next year !


Donation: LaptopService provides SBA with PCs

LaptopService has always supported SBA and keeps doing a lot for us.

Following the construction of our new centre, they decided to make a donation of 10 new computers, in order to replace our old equipment.

Thanks to this donation, filling a real need, we equipped our new center of “L’Eau Claire”.


This donation also benefited to Adeline, 18, member of the first promotion at “L’Eau Claire”, who has been our best student at SBA for years. Pursuing his studies at the university, she needed a PC to work in better conditions.

Huge thanks to Sylvain, Julien and all the team of LaptopService !

Cameroon : Visit to centre to Bafia, April 2017

Our time in Cameroon ended with a visit to our centre in Bafia. We were welcomed by Jean Cyrille, the centre director.

We found our 4 boys, who we host at the centre, as well as Amina whom we have also been helping this past year.  Their academic results have gotten better.  We wish them a strong end to their school year!

This passage through Bafia offered us some beautiful moments.  The young people had the chance to ask Serge questions, which allowed them to know him better.  We also worked on empowering these adolescents by encouraging them to affirm their dream, vis-à-vis their parents, and to prioritize their studies over working in the fields.  There are still a few problems related to absenteeism, but it is diminishing little by little.


Here are two beautiful smiles for you to enjoy by Justin and Audrey.  They have attended the SBA Bafia centre for the past several years and despite fluctuating grades, they are always very motivated to give the best of themselves in order to thank the SBA in the best of ways.


Enjoy the centre song that was sung by the adolescents with a surprise!  Since January 2016, English courses have been added to the centre activities.  You will see the progress that has already been made.

Cameroon : Rugby in Bangangté, April 2017

Following the L’Eau Claire inauguration, Serge of course attended and coached a training at the Bangangté rugby centre.

There were many tips and techniques shared with these young players who had won the inter-SBA rugby tournament a few months ago in Yaoundé.

They had taken the opportunity to review their positioning, played 2 and 4 hand touch rugby, but also….


…. They learned to communicate on the field, which was particularly beneficial for the new recruit, Lucrece, who is still integrating himself within the team.



To finish, a spreadsheet was prepared so that the team can track their progress and improvements.



Before leaving, an original dance was done…..


Cameroon : Inauguration of the new site for Centre Eau Claire, April 2017

You have followed along as we bought the land in February 2016 and then as the centre and Philippe’s artist studio were built.

We had the pleasure of inaugurating L’Eau Claire’s new location this past April 22nd.  As you remember, construction began in November 2016.  Thanks to Annick, an architect from Yaoundé, this work was realized in less than 6 months!

 Thank you!


The 255m² centre is made up of 1 medical dispensary, 1 bedroom, 1 water closet, 3 classrooms, and 1 kitchen.  We can now welcome up to 130 children for educational activities.

Thanks to the WASPS Foundation for sponsoring this centre Merci à la Station Val Thorens, partenaire depuis de longues années  

This project, which represents an investment of 92 785 €, is thanks to our generous partners:

  • The station of Val Thorens
  • The WASPS Legends Charitable Foundation
  • The WASPS Academy
  • Victoria Oil & Gas
  • Two French senators established outside of France
  • Local Cameroonian donors
  • And everyone who participated in our diner on October 8, 2015 in London

Thanks to this support, this project became a reality!  Let us not forget our loyal godparents, without whom we would not be here today.

 Les oeuvres de Philippe

Since June 2012, 8000€ (integrated in the overall amount of this investment) was collected for Philippe, thanks to the initiative of Martin and his classmates, who organized classical music concerts in London.

This little annex building will be used by Philippe, as soon as he has finished his training to create objects out of bamboo and beads.  He will come here to work on his pieces and then store them until they are ready to be sold.

April 22nd was a wonderful occasion to gather the traditional and official authorities, public and private sectors, around a beautiful inauguration ceremony for one of the biggest Serge Betsen Academy projects.

Here are some pictures of this beautiful day of celebration:

Les enfants de l Eau Claire Les musiciens du Benskin Le chant des enfants Les mamans et danseuses Mme Niat, Elisabeth et Odile La remise de la tenue traditionnelle par les représentants de la jeunesse de Fatgo o 

 Inauguration en présence de Mme Niat, femme du Président du Sénat Les mains tendues vers Serge, Merci! Une main tendue vers l'enfance Les cris traditionnels pendant les danses Elisabeth et Serge Philippe ému aux larmes pour son atelier Philippe et Serge  Collation pour tout le monde Les rugbymen et women!

On prend soin de tous L équipe de rugby donne aussi un coup de main

The children thanked us, traditional Benskin dances from this Bamiléké region in Western Cameroon were presented, and speeches by official and traditional leaders were offered before Serge Betsen cut the inaugural ribbon.  He then toured the new facility for the first time.

Serge received an enormous amount of presents for his local actions and achievements, in particular this traditional dress.  The representatives from Bangangté presented it to him as a form of high recognition on behalf of the local inhabitants.

A hand outstretched to childhood!

We cannot forget that these projects and actions would never had happened without Elisabeth and Odile…

and all those who make up the SBA: our centre directors, project manager, and volunteers.

Djibrail Jenna Geneviève

 Pulchérie Berthe

Jeanette Charles Mado



A huge thank you!


Cameroon : Donation of solar panels, Bangangté

The SBA is proud to announce that the Chiefdom Bahock Nfeuntchemtchou received their first solar panel.  Thanks to a donation from the American company GM Group International Corporation, based in Las Vegas, a solar panel was given to His Majesty the Chief Keutcha Djanda Rodrigue.  This fulfilled a promise given by the SBA at the beginning of 2016 when we attended the inauguration of the water tower we had built for the village.

This time, the SBA made a step towards green energy, which the continent of Africa desperately needs. With a billion inhabitants in Africa, 75% of the sub-Saharan population has no access to electricity. A sad record.

In Africa, electricity is a rare luxury and not equally shared.  In Cameroon, there are constant power outages.  Some groups use expensive generators, but most only live with oil lamps and candles. If the sun is free in Africa, only the small solar panels are accessible to the poorest populations. This gift to the chieftainship was not intended to connect all appliances of the village, but to recharge a computer, one or two mobile phones, which can save lives.  Located in the court of the chieftainship, it is in a place accessible for all. We must help our children and their parents. We are counting on you for our upcoming projects.

Donation : from the Hilton in Yaoundé

After meeting with the director, we were able to obtain donations of sheets and towels for our centres.


Cameroon : Visit to centre Etoudi, April 2017

After the little ones from Jardin Eden, Serge went to see the young rugby men in the area of Etoudi in Yaoundé, for their first practice with the retired international rugby player.

A training worthy of the greatest and touch rugby were on the program.


A glimpse here

Thank you to the young who were present and a mention to Abaa, the rugby coordinator, Genevieve, the director of Etoudi, Franck, their coach, and Laurent, our volunteer.



Awaiting Serge on his return, was a beautiful tunic embroidered with nods to SBA rugby by Ibrahim, a professional tailor.