Cameroon: Partnership and support to APAJ association providing a technical training

The Cameroonian charity APAJ (Cameroonian Charity supporting self-employment for young people) was created 11 years ago. This year, the charity obtained government funding to set up this project: to build a new Centre for Social Support for Professional Set-up (CASIP).    This training centre is aimed mainly at young adults who wish to become technicians. The training courses will include two specialisations: metal construction and industrial electricity. These courses will last 2 to 3 years and once they are completed, the centre will guide the young technicians in their search for internship and employment.

This substantial project has been set up in a Cameroonian environment with a particularly high unemployment rate, especially for young people. This centre is an alternative to the programme already proposed by APAJ in its first CASIP centre which offers self-employment courses in more standard subjects: dressmaking, hairstyling, beauty care and IT.

Education is the main mission of Serge Betsen Academy, and professional training is the culmination of our programmes because it ensures young people’s success through self-employment. This way, they can build their own better and more stable future. For all these reasons and following a meeting with APAJ and its chairman, the SBA board decided to help fund this project for amount of  5 000 euros hoping to see youth from SBA benefit from the training offered.

Zoétélé: Volunteers from V2R renovate the centre

For some of us, this year was our third visit to Cameroon, for some others it was the fifth one.

This time we went to Zoétélé to renovate the rugby centre of SBA. Everything went well, the building was not in such a bad state but it needed to be refreshed. Some children of the centre even helped us. We were really moved by their welcome with their dances and songs; they taught us how to dance!

Leaving the village was a really emotional moment, as we had to say goodbye to the children after they thanked us for the work we did through traditional dances, songs and a short play. They came to our hotel to wish us a nice trip back to France; we took some pictures together. Like every year it was moving to leave these children we got attached to so quickly.

Of course we would love to go back to Cameroon in the future because it’s an intense trip that makes us grow and that increases our awareness of many things. We have the chance to support children who needs help, to meet new people, to see a new culture… We will also always remember the tournament and rugby training in Zoétélé school, because it is great to see children being so much involved in this sport, whereas they live in a football country and in such difficult environment…Congratulations!”

The youth of Perpignan

Bafia : Bilan 6 mois apres l’ouverture du centre

What happened in this centre, six months after the opening of the new building. 

 

In January 2013, Serge Betsen opened the new building of the centre in Bafia. Today it is fully equipped with a classroom, a library and a computer room. The latter was acquired thanks to a donation of computers shipped by container last November. It is an unprecedented chance for many young people; most of whom had never used a computer before. The children learn how to use word processing, conduct research for school on the Internet and find information.

This is a nice way for these youth from Bafia to access new technology that is growing in Africa and that is an indispensable way to work.

Bafia : Inauguration of the new centre

Previously called Rosy centre, it is now a new building which is opened every Saturday for the children.

The workers as well as our young teenagers of Bafia and their parents worked for two months on this new project which has been completed mid-January.

A computer room, a library and a drop-in clinic are now available to our children who have started again the school support.

We thank the parents and the teenagers for their efforts and their involvement in the construction of the centre. This demostrates their commitment and willigness.

Cameroon: A container of more than two tonnes

More than two and a half tonnes of various equipment were shipped to Cameroon in November 2012.

For Christmas, clothes, shoes, linens, books, sports equipment, medical equipment, toys and others were directly distributed to the children of our centres for their greatest happiness.

20 computers and 5 printers were generously provided by the CCAS (Caisse Centrale d’Activité Sociale), a work council of the French company EDF. This action helped provide our centres with a computer room available to the children. In L’Eau Claire centre where the computer room already existed, the equipment has been renewed. Two computers were donated to the school for deaf-mutes in Yaoundé.

In the name of the children, Serge Betsen Academy thanks all donors and volunteers without whom this would not have been possible.

Cameroon: Support to the Apprentis d’Auteuil

Serge Betsen Academy supports a project of the French instituion Apprentis d’Auteuil in Douala-PK24

In July 2012, the French institution -Apprentis d’Auteuil organised an international building site for the benefit of the charity Homes of Saint Nicodème that take care of the street children in Douala. Serge Betsen Academy decided to financially support the project and attended the opening of the site.

The project:

  • Construction of two houses in the observation and stabilisation household “farm PK24”: painting, plumbing, masonry, tiling, electricity …..
  • Renovation of facilities for the reception of young

Actors:

  • 12 girls and boys from the French institution Notre Dame d’Apprentis d’Auteuil (La Loupe, 28), managed by four teachers.
  • 12 Cameroonian boys and girls, street children of Douala, who live in the St Nicodème NGOMA under the responsibility of four teachers.

Everybody lived and worked in partnership during 21 days, sharing their meals and activities. They have evolved in a context that was unknown and that was sometimes difficult to manage. Thanks to their motivation and determination, it has been a very successful mission for the benefit

Bangangté: A new school in Fatgo’o

School roof that threatened to collapse is now repaired.

Many children of the centre L’Eau Claire go to the Bangangté public school. The school currently includes four classes and teaches 100 children. Because the roof threatened to collapse at any moment over the children, Serge Betsen Academy financed the project thanks to one of our sponsors (who doesn’t want to be named) and we would like to express our thanks again.

The beautiful school of Fatgo’o is now finished! The location of the headmaster’s office has changed and two rooms are now available (offices) between the classes rather than opposite. The two classrooms are each equipped with ten two-seat benches.

The Serge Betsen Academy is delighted to have accomplished this project which will allow many eager children to return to school.

Bafia: Focus on the visit of the centre

After a quick lunch, we arrived at the centre where the children were waiting for us. After warm greetings, Charles Bessong with respect and apprehension read  us a letter written by all the children. Here is the transcription:

“Dear godfathers, honorable big brother, dear Mr Kais, beloved visitors,

The children of the Rosy centre warmly welcome you. Your visit brings us back energy and the proof that we are not abandoned and that we will never be.

For many children worldwide, meeting the big brother, “Serge”, represents a dream. What an honor for us, children of the big SBA family, to have him among us.

We also take the advantage of your presence to tell you from the bottom of our hearts: thank you for all you do for us, children of poor families, orphans for some of us, from divided families for others. We were hopeless, condemned to do small jobs, to be in the street, exposed to prostitution, to precocious marriages, to delinquency. Although you have had huge achievements and even if time is what you are lack most, you didn’t forget those who have remained at a lower level.

You’ve decided to sacrifice your time.

You’ve mobilized your relationships.

You’ve invested your energy and your knowledge to bring us back the love for life, to make us feel hopeful again for a better tomorrow for us and for our families.

We are truly thankful and pray God to bless you for a long life; to give you more material assets; to broaden your contacts in order to be able to realize everything you planned for us and that our tears of disinherited children may be dried forever.

Concerning us, children of the Rosy centre, sons and daughters of the SBA, we can’t promise to become important rugby men because nobody among us has the strength or the techniques necessary; we can’t swear we’ll become little Mozart; we have the will to do that but not always the means.

We guarantee to you that with all the sacrifices you make for us, we will say no to all forms of social deviances and we will prevent the progress of analphabetism.

You will always find in us a group of ambitious and volunteer children; through us, your work keeps on going. You are the one who has made the name Betsen famous, a Bafia patronymic.

We love you, we admire you and eventually we all together tell you: “go ahead!”

After a notable translation of this beautiful text by our friend Odile, which moved the whole delegation, we concluded this great afternoon in happiness and laughs distributing shirts to the children.

Cameroon: An English delegation visits the centres

At the beginning of November 2011, a team of seven people from the UK came for one week with Serge Betsen to visit all the Academy centres in Cameroon.

The group, mainly composed of businessmen, won this trip with the presence of Serge Betsen during a charity dinner organised in London for Serge’s testimonial. Odile was the only woman participating in this trip. Many thanks for her patience and her good mood throughout the trip. The group could also see the functioning and work carried out by the SBA in Cameroon. As well as discovering a new culture, meeting the children was certainly an unforgettable moment for them.

Cameroon: Official opening of Jardin Eden centre

It’s with much emotion that the new  SBA centre Jardin Eden, in the heart of Yaoundé, was officially opened on 8th November 2011, by Serge Betsen and the English delegation.

On this occasion, we were pleased to welcome Miss Anne Gain who is the French Ambassador’s wife.  All 13 volunteers were engaged in the presentation by our centres to our guests including a show prepared by the children, who were very impressed by Serge. Songs, dances and snacks gave the rhythm to this afternoon of plenty of laughs and exchanges. The ceremony ended with an intense dance to folk music from a local group in the centre’s garden with all the guests, who were glad to have shared these happy moments with the children and volunteers of the centre. The centre opened in September. It welcomes more than 30 children daily. The activities are organized as follows: a scholar support workshop, a library-toy workshop, a hobby workshop (songs, dances, DIY etc…). Many thanks to Jutta and Cécile who are jointly responsible for the centre for their role in the success of this project.