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

Brice has been playing rugby every weekend in the SBA center of Etoudi for the last 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 to work in a team, live in 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 Centres.

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 do battle in rugby for our second ever 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 categorically conclude that this was a great success.

The sheer diligence of the teams involved formed the solid foundations for this superbly managed 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 on arrival at the hotel. All went to bed knowing that the next day would be a great one.

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 reminded us of what the SBA stands for pointing to the privilege bestowed upon the players, picked to participate on the pitches. They were 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 all through the tournament 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 ball-skills, good hands and running skills.

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 providing 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 of the Bangangté center. At Serge Betsen Academy for the past 6 years, Guemeni has attended tutoring as well as rugby training. Graduated from a diploma in IT and Management, he shares 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 23 September 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 1597,10 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 the new nursery wing at the Marianina school. The original construction plans had been delayed due to cyclones, pest infestations and outbreaks of illnesses which plagued the the whole country and severely impacted the villagers 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 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 Financière Arbevel are the key sponsor this golfing tournament.

We are very grateful to 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 due to the generosity of Jean Baptiste Delabare, which means that more than €6,000 has been collected for each association.

So special thanks once again particularly to Jean-Baptiste and the Financière Arbevel 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.

Cameroon: 2017-2018 academic results

This year there was a delay in the publication of the official exam results. But here they are, and it is with proud pleasure that we present them to you: For the General and Technical Baccalaureate we achieved a 57% success rate that contrasts so well against the 51% national average figure which itself, continues the upward trend from previous years.  See link: https://www.journalducameroun.com/261756-2/

“Probatoire” is the equivalent of the first year (yr 12) Baccalaureate and here we saw an 84.6% pass rate.

CAP : 100% Pass BEPC : 66.6% Pass 100% of year 6 will now progress to year 7.

So, for the intermediary class, 85.8% of the children passed through to the next level.

We are very proud of the results our team have attained thanks to some awesome teaching support. On the whole, the figure of 82.7% represents the high amount of children progressing to the next class which is even better than the previous year’s attainment of 73%. Good job team! Congratulations to all! Here’s to continuing along this successful path throughout the 2018 to 2019 new school year.

(Translation by Raphael Nash)

Cameroon : L’Eau Claire Infirmary Fully Operational

Last November, we noticed a decrease in the number of patients attending our old health centre. We took action and agreed a partnership contract with the University des Montagnes in order to increase the amount of medical staff we could make available. Previously we operated for just two days with a doctor and a midwife, alas this was just not sufficient to meet our needs. Since March, we have a nurse five days a week in our Bangangté centre. This nurse makes it possible not only for children at the centre and their families to benefit from first aid, but now encompasses other inhabitants of the village. In addition to direct first aid, visitors can receive advice on how to prevent disease; learn how to make early detection of illnesses and know how to ensure rapid transportation to the hospital if necessary. So we are very pleased to have finally put in place our partnership with University des Montagnes (UdM).

In three months, the number of visitors to the infirmary has steadily increased: mainly thanks to word of mouth instigated by Djibril and visitors from Jacques in the city of Bangangté. We ran three awareness campaigns to help drive people to attend and receive their tetanus booster jabs. It is good news indeed that this summer we will host a general practice consultation facility available for all the children at the centre.

This is Jacques our nurse administering a vaccine to Camille, one of our Bangangté rugby players. As planned, the month of June was an opportunity to build education about the need for tetanus jabs for the Bangangté players. There is no way you can forget who manages our Eau Claire center: Djibril, with his yellow T-shirt as he also benefits from the booster vaccine. All that with a smile!

First time back in 10 years!

 

We would like to thank his Majesty Bernard Mbiandou Yongang of the traditional Lafeng Chefferie, who greatly helped us to promote the infirmary.

Translation by Raphael Nash

Success Story: Our little “Angel”

Ange, is a beautiful 4 years old boy with Down syndrome who has received tremendous support with the SBA team thanks to a continuous donation which originated 3 years ago. Ange loves the vitamins he receives from the USA as they are in the form of a teddy bear.

We love keeping track of Ange regularly thanks to our infirmary and his mother Rosanne is often seen in our centre.

Today, Ange eats independently, we are so proud of how he is maturing and moving around. He receives a little help when walking around, however this may not be needed for long since he is making great progress.

     

You can see here in the photos Ange’s mother, Rosanne at work with the SBA Coop. She is very involved in the centre. As you can see, meal preparations are being made for all the children that benefit from her participation and Rosanne feels so proud to be involved. She is well aware of the vital role that she, and other mothers of the SBA Coop perform to cultivate the crops that are an essential contribution: nourishing the children at the centre several times a week.

  

Our dreams of self-sufficiency become more reachable. There is along way to go, but stories like that of Ange and Rosanne warm our hearts and drive us forward. Parental involvement is a fundamental ingredient to ensure the proper functioning of our centres. Especially so that children can feel the support of their parents as they focus on school work and other core activities at the centre.

(Translation by Raphael Nash)

Cameroon : Restoration work in Bafia

Since its creation and expansion in 2014, we have undertaken restoration work for our Bafia centre. We are very grateful to the Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation (WLCF), which contributed £7,018 (or €7,840) of funds dedicated to this project. We smashed down the partition wall between two large study rooms to make one large room and the entire centre has been painted, spruced up, and repaired where necessary both inside and out.

   

Continuing the spirit of our achievements in Bangangté, our make-over transformed the centre into a bright cheerful, colourful and welcoming building. We have created a youthful and vibrant atmosphere we were looking for, full of colour.

Before After      

The difference is remarkable and we are very proud of the final outcome. It had become necessary as the rainy seasons had really taken their toll on the pipes and gutters. A bridge has now been built allowing easier and more secure access to the centre.

  

We also decided to spruce up the back of the centre by planting shrubs and carving out a vegetable garden with cabbages and lettuces bursting through. Gardening duties are the responsibility of the young people who will be cultivating and harvesting the produce. These improvements will see completion in the last quarter of 2018.

Translation by Raphael Nash