Event: Our young SBA ambassadors shined at Salon Promote!

After receiving an invitation by Sharon Ganney and the British High Commission in Cameroon, the Serge Betsen Academy proudly took part in the 7th edition of the Salon Promote in Yaoundé this past February.

Five talented young students from our SBA centres in Bangangté and Bafia took part in the Salon to network and met different companies established in Cameroon. Our champions were accompanied by Odile Prevot, our CEO who attended the Salon during the three days and by Djibril, Manager of the Bangangté Centre. We would like to congratulate Bienvenu, Fanny, Sorelle, Baudelaire and Gilles on representing our charity during the Salon and on managing to introduce themselves to companies with such professionalism. They took part in a fruitful working session with the British High Commission in Cameroon and met with dynamic companies to learn about their activities. They notably had the chance to discuss with our friends from GreenHouse Ventures and our sponsor Victoria Oil and Gas Plc based in Douala. Through this meeting we hope that they were able to build meaningful connections for their future careers.

Odile Prevot also delivered a speech about “Rugby for education: from street idling to community champions”. She was accompanied by Fanny, who shared her experience as a Serge Betsen Academy student and gave details about the impact of our actions on her education and her life in general.

This Salon was a great opportunity for our five SBA ambassadors to develop their business network and for our charity to gain some visibility. We are proud of what they have achieved so far and we wish them all the best in their professional careers! And it seems that our team of superstars had great fun as you can see from their video 😉 :

 

Let’s celebrate our 15th anniversary together!

2019 is the 15th anniversary of our charity: 15 as the XV de France and of course the rugby 15s, the sport that taught Serge Betsen the values of solidarity and teamwork. The SBA has officially been working for 15 years to enable young Cameroonian girls and boys to have access to free education, healthcare and regular rugby trainings!

All this has happened step by step thanks to our board, volunteers, donors and patrons but of course also thanks to our children and their great desire to make progress. We are proud of what we have achieved so far and there is still much to be done.

The children in Cameroon are the future but they are also the most vulnerable. In 15 years, we have helped 5,000 children in our 5 centers around the country and we need your help to improve our services to welcome even more students, because many are still in need.

To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we will share 15 highlights with you, and we also invite you to share your best memories using the hashtag #SBA15ans.

We are also delighted to invite you to join us on July 23rd and 24th for our gala dinner at the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz and the next day for a charity rugby day on the occasion of the opening of the Fêtes of Bayonne to celebrate rugby in the Pays Basque, where everything started for Serge!

This campaign is also the opportunity for us to raise funds for our charity. We aim to raise 15,000 euros and need all the support we can get, please donate on our helloasso platform. Thank you 15,000 times!

Our success stories: Diane attends tutoring sessions in Bafia and makes sure that the Center is clean!

Diane is 16 years old and she studies at the Lycée Classique et Moderne in Bafia.
For the past 3 years, she has attended the SBA Center of Bafia every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. She enjoys spending time at the Center where she found herself a caring and solidary family!
Moreover, she pays a lot of attention to the cleanness of her working environment. She takes part in cleaning and cooking with Pierrette, our head cook. Diane has now been appointed responsible for the cleaning of the Center. She makes sure that the facilities are clean for our students to learn in a hygienic environment and deals with the distribution of meals. Her contribution to the Center is of great value and we love to have her set such a good precedent for our students.

Our success stories : Hermine, a devoted and beaming tutor in the Bafia center!

Our success stories : Hermine, a devoted and beaming tutor in the Bafia center!

This is Hermine. She is the Bafia Center’s second in charge. Since September 2018, she comes in every day to study nutrition, her favorite subject. 

She is in charge of the Bafia center when Jean-Cyrille is not available : she opens the Center, deals with the homeworks and organises workshops according to levels. 

Cécile, our dear volunteer has asked her what she likes most in her Center : “its dynamism, but also its friendly atmosphere : we gather and we speak about our problems, we share our secrets.”

She ends the discussion with Cécile by telling her : “I used to be shy. Now, people listen to me and I laugh a lot”. 

Success story: Brice has learned how to behave in a group thanks to rugby!

Brice has been playing rugby every weekend at the Etoudi center of the SBA for the past two years. Today, he is not only a rugby player but also a coach and he loves it. Rugby has enabled him to join a group, learn how to work in a team, live in a community and control his emotions.

Here is his most beautiful rugby memory: his first match in 2016 during the SBA inter-center tournament in Bangangté!

Event: Rugby Tournament for The SBA Centers.

What a great tournament! Saturday, October the 27th was indeed a great day for the rugby players of the Serge Betsen Academy.  The teams of Zoétélé, Bangangté and Etoudi lined up to meet at Zoétélé to scrimmage at our second inter-center tournament.

Respect to Abaa: Head of the Zoétélé SBA center, rugby coordinator for SBA, and national coordinator of the “Get Into Rugby” program of World Rugby. Abaa organized this event and he was helped and supported by our faithful volunteers: Laurent, Lionel, Francis and Cecile. If you judge an event by the passion and enthusiasm of the players during the tournament, then we can definitely conclude that this was a great success.

The sheer diligence of the teams involved formed the solid foundations for this well organized event. Precision could be seen right down to the position of every pole placed to mark the pitches. The distances were perfectly measured, and a high calibre of referee was present outlining the important details covering safety, practicality and conviviality. The briefing took place the day before upon arrival at the hotel.

In his address to the teams, Abaa reminded us of the important values ​​of rugby and celebrated the festive spirit and origins of this special event. Abaa was followed by Lionel who outlined what the SBA stands for, pointing to the privileges bestowed upon the players, picked to participate on the pitches. They were also reminded of the prerequisite for perfect behavior on and off the pitch, and of their responsibility to convey the values ​​of the SBA from elders to youngers. It also fell to Lionel to outline the rules of the tournament, bestowing well merited respect upon the referees; the importance of safety for all with a stark reminder that rugby can be a dangerous game if not carefully controlled. There were trophies proudly on display, along with the shields that embodied the heritage, culture, pride and tradition all warmly expressed in Lionel’s address.

The next day – the fully briefed players bursting with pride walked out onto the pitch.

As an overture, about 25 of the youngest players aged between 8 and 14 years old provided an awesome display of athletic skills, ranging from running to ball-passing…

Then the tournament began, and six group matches were played out. The competition was tough and the matches were tight. These players knew each other well – making it such a special community event. There were fifty enthralled spectators including officials and dignitaries who followed the games earnestly which further heightened the pride of the players.

  

The Etoudi and Zoétélé first teams found themselves in the final and after an awesome game, Etoudi emerged victorious. We could see the joy bursting behind match-fatigued eyes, victory is never easy.

A photo shoot was followed by a long-awaited awards ceremony. Some noticeable individual performances were called out and then team prizes from 6th to 4th place were presented. Medals and certificates were given to 3rd and 2nd place teams. And a trophy for the best scorer was awarded to Ebo’o Epima Simon Stephan from the Zoétélé first team to congratulate him especially.

Finally, the Head of Sector and a Village Chief presented the winning trophy to the jubilant Etoudi team handing them the magnificent shield of SBA and the Winners Trophy.

A closing ceremony ended this day in style accompanied by a welcomed buffet. It was a wonderful event. And we cannot wait to meet you in 2020 for the 3rd edition of this wonderful tournament!

A big thank you to all the players for embodying the beautiful spirit of rugby, to Abaa for the organization of the tournament, to Lionel Quenardel of Diderot College Massy, ​​Francis Forestier and Laurent for the organization and coaching of the players. Also to Rugby Club Massy Essonne for the supply of pharmacy services for the tournament and to Alain Henin for dedicating the shield. Cécile deserves a mention for her precious help and our gratitude goes out to BBC Sport Africa and Vox Africa for the coverage of the event.

Most of all we send a big thank you to our partner La Financière Arbevel without whom this 2nd edition would not have been possible.

Success story: Guemeni Keon B, a balanced and accomplished young man!

Guemeni Keou B. is a young man from the Bangangté center. He has been a part of the Serge Betsen Academy for the past 6 years, and has regularly attended tutoring as well as rugby training. He just graduated with a diploma in IT and Management, and shared great moments with the rugby team of Bangangté. He arrived in the 3rd position of the 2nd edition of the SBA inter-center tournament. We congratulate him for present successes and wish him all the best for the future.

Event: A rainy but joyful American Charity Touch Rugby Tournament

DC Touch Rugby and Roosters Rugby presented their annual Charity Touch Rugby Tournament to the benefit of the Serge Betsen Academy on September 23rd in Virginia.

Despite the miserable weather, 40 participants attended this charity event to encourage their team and gather for a good cause. After dynamic and joyful games on the wet pitch and a yummy friendly barbecue, DC Touch Rugby finally won the tournament against Roosters Rugby.

Thanks to all the rugbymen and participants for your dynamism, spirit of solidarity and generosity. We have raised 1,597.10 US dollars thanks to you all! It feels very good to see so many people believing in our charity and helping our SBA children to get a better chance to succeed in life.

 

For more pictures of the event, please visit our Facebook page.

Madagascar: Completing the Nursery

As 2017 drew to a close, we joined forces with the Espérance Marianina association in Madagascar. We were united in completing the construction of the new nursery wing at the Marianina school. The original construction plans had been delayed due to hurricanes, pest infestations and outbreaks of illnesses which plagued the whole country and severely impacted the villager’s efforts. The completion date was pushed into 2018 as we teamed up to complete the project.

         

The first day of term was then delayed due to the reorganisation of The Ministry of Education. However, the new term started on the 19th of November which saw 65 fresh-faced nursery school children taking their seats in the new building. Furniture is being prepared and adapted especially for the children with new pieces being added as soon as they are constructed.

We are so proud that this project finally came to fruition and that more than sixty children are now learning and playing in such lovely new conditions.

Event: The Financière Arbevel Golf Tournament

For the 4th year running we are once again delighted that the Financière Arbevel is the key sponsor for this golfing tournament.

We are very grateful to the Financière Arbevel for welcoming us and actively participating to raise funds for our future projects. We were also blessed by the presence of the key associations: RFF and ASET 93.

It was an excellent day to raise funds for these beautiful causes. Unbelievably the sum collected was multiplied by 4 thanks to the generosity of Jean Baptiste Delabare, which means that more than €6,000 has been collected for each association.

Special thanks once again particularly to Jean-Baptiste and the Financière Arbevel’s team for the organization, welcome, generosity and hospitality.

For SBA, these proceeds will allow us to fortify our projects, particularly in the areas of student health and exercise with rugby.