Volunteer: Josué, SBA former student, now a nurse in two centres!

Thanks to Josué, each centre of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) now benefits from having a nurse on site.  This is wonderful news for our children’ health! We owe this to this generous young man who, a short time ago was still on the benches of our centre in Bafia.  This is his story:

‘Let me introduce myself: my name is Bidias Josué, I am 27 years old; when I was only 12 my father and mother passed away.  I live in Yaoundé, the Cameroonian capital.  I have a degree in psychology obtained in 2014 at the Yaoundé 1 University and in 2017 I got my professional diploma in nursing.  Today I work as a nurse in a dispensary located 56 km from Yaoundé, in the locality of Ngoumou.

In 2012, as I was in school year 12 (literary) in Bafia I heard about the SBA; Mr. Jean Cyril Monthé is the one who invited me to join.  Unfortunately I only spent 2 years among this family. They taught me so much and gave me everything.

My parents sadly weren’t fortunate enough to receive good care when they were on their hospital beds.  Since then I have become very sensitive to the suffering of people around me and this has motivated me to do the job that I do, to help and relieve the pain.

After my A-levels in 2013, I always dreamt of joining the SBA family, to give them my very best in order to ensure the best future for my cadets at the centre.  When the opportunity was presented to me, to be the nurse at Jardin Eden and Etoudi, I immediately accepted and started volunteering even before the hierarchy had accepted me.  And above all, it was a way for me to thank this family which for 2 years helped me grow into the man I am now.

My goal when I joined was to give the best of myself when practising as a nurse within the SBA.  Every time I work at the Jardin Eden centre I have to check on all the children, relieve their suffering and have educational talks with them. For those from Etoudi, I have to be there during their rugby training and carry out routine health checks. On Sundays I am present at the Etoudi Centre. For the Jardin Eden centre, it’s on Fridays.

My cadets, I urge you to get to work, to know how to say thank you to all the good wills who sacrifice themselves to offer you a better future!

A special thanks to all the people, near and far, who are actively working to give us a chance for a better future.

Thank you !!!!’

Premier jour de Josué, infirmier auprès des enfants de Jardin Eden Premier jour de Josué, infirmier auprès des enfants de Jardin Eden

Premier jour de Josué, infirmier auprès des jeunes rugbymen d'Etoudi Josué, infirmer et Moise, coach rugby

Premier jour de Josué, infirmier auprès des jeunes rugbymen d'Etourdi

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson

Health: The anti-malaria campaign has started!

Thanks to donations from the Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation and other generous friends of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA), our nurses can now provide the care necessary to fight malaria. This is a great relief, because with the rainy season, among our patients the number of children and adults suffering from malaria has reached an all-time high this year.

Djibril, manager of the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté, placed an order with our friends at the “La Nouvelle Dignité” pharmacy and the anti-malaria medicines were delivered to the centre at the end of last week. In order to best distribute the 566 boxes of medication and the 10 mosquito nets a precise inventory of the needs of each centre had been carried out at the time of the order. This is because the medication and dosages are different depending on the age of each patient.

Malaria medicines

The precious delivery was distributed as follows:

  • The Eau Claire centre in Bangangté received 260 boxes of medicines to treat at least 240 cases of malaria, i.e. 100 children, 100 teenagers and 60 adults.
  • The Abraham and Sarah centre in Bafia received 113 boxes in order to treat at least 70 teenagers and 28 adults.
  • The Jardin Eden centre in Yaoundé received 78 boxes to treat 78 children.
  • Finally, the Zoétélé centre received 115 boxes needed for the care of at least 50 children and 50 teenagers.

Medicines received in Bangangté

With these supplies, we are now ready to face malaria in our infirmaries, which is great news! A huge thank you to our nurses for having diagnosed this local urgent need and for providing care to our dear children and their families; they are grateful to our donors for their generosity. Thanks to the Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation, the SBA was able to respond in time to an urgent need for care. Being able to be cared for should never be a luxury.

Malaria tests Infirmary in Bafia

The medicines having been received, screening tests began this week in the centres. At the Bafia centre, out of the 25 children tested in two days, 13 were positive and were therefore able to start their treatment.

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson

Volunteer: Henri, French Teacher at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté

Henri is a French teacher at the Collège Saint Joseph in Bandjoun.

Every Sunday, he drives to Bangangté to assist the children of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) with any subject in which they may need help. Glad that the centre is located in his department, he is happy and proud to be able to contribute to the SBA organisation.

Thanks to Henri and to all the volunteers, the values of rugby are transmitted on the playing field but also on the outside. This sport, which he, to start with, found: “a little barbaric” is for him a “vector of sharing, team spirit and a taste for work! That’s all our students need to succeed!”

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson

Henri

Volunteer: Rosanne, Cook at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté

Rosanne is the chief cook at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté. Twice a week, she cooks between 50 and 100 meals for our studious pupils.

According to Rosanne, the children “really like fish with rice in a peanut sauce, but also macaroni, and ripe plantain with sautéed vegetables”! Rosanne works really hard and can sometimes need five hours to delight our students who, thanks to her, quickly recuperate after a long day at school.

Rosanne is happy to work with the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA), for the development and the good health of the students. She goes to great lengths to ensure that “the students pass their Baccalaureate (UK-Sixth form, A levels) or their BEPC (UK-GCSEs)”. Thank you Rosanne!

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson

Rosanne

Volunteer: Mr. Jacques, Nurse at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté

Mr. Jacques has been a nurse at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté since March 2018.

The children and sometimes even their parents come to visit him on Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays.  During school holidays, he carries out medical check-ups for all the children (blood pressure, weight, teeth, deworming, etc.). He therefore deals with the public health problems in Cameroon.

Mr. Jacques is happy to be part of this structure which allows children to benefit from both educational and health support! “This is a great initiative for the community of Bangangté”.

 

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson

Jacques

Volunteer : Théophile, Maths Teacher at the Bafia centre

Théophile is a maths teacher. Three years ago, one of his students told him about the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) and since that day he comes to the centre every weekend to help our students:

“I try to assist them with their problems, to facilitate their understanding of the lessons and I put my knowledge at their disposal.” He adds: “I chose to teach and I like helping the children of the centre. I take great pleasure in teaching here because the students are welcoming and available. I come to the SBA Bafia centre because I like it”.

What he also appreciates: the mutual respect (vertically and horizontally) between the children of different ages and the teachers. Here the atmosphere is friendly and good natured.

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson

Théophile

Volunteer: Christelle, contributing artist at the Jardin Eden centre

Christelle has two hats: that of a law student and that of a self-taught painter.

Four times a week, when she is not working in her workshop, she attends law school. During her free time, she’s off to the centre of Jardin Eden to lend a helping hand to Nadege with the children.

Christelle helps the children to develop their creativity by introducing them to drawing, painting and animated songs! She teaches them the basics: primary colours, geometric shapes; and asks them to use their imagination because “children are fine creators”.

She has been working with the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) since 2013 and endeavours to convey her love for the Cameroonian culture. In her works, she loves to represent rural women, musicians playing drums, griots (who are traditional performers who sing stories and tales) and fields. She wishes that the children living in towns also know the traditions of their ancestors! And indeed, the creation of the vegetable garden of Jardin Eden and the lessons around the germination of seeds are part of the same approach!

Christelle would like to warmly thank our donors and sponsors: “We work hard with the children to make our donors proud! Each child and each manager goes above and beyond to become better! A big thank you to all of you!”

 

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson

Volunteer: Nadege, Manager of the Jardin Eden centre

Nadege started working for the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) in 2010. She first got to know the wives of two expatriates; they were involved in a project for a children centre. These two ladies then approached the SBA and this is how the story between Nadege and the SBA started in Yaoundé.

Nadege is a housewife and she goes every afternoon from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jardin Eden centre to look after the children aged 5 to 11. Drawing, colouring, painting, mathematics, French, English … the children do not have time to get bored!

Through games, songs and after-school tutoring, Nadège wishes to convey values to children such as: “respect, sharing, love, the taste for work and the fellowship between children and adults”. And she adds: “the children bring me lots of pride, serenity … I love to see them smile, grow and flourish. Their progress is my pride!”

From the bottom of her heart Nadege thanks the donors: “The children here are special, they don’t have much but they do wonders with the little they have! Please continue to help our little ones and our young people, they work so hard!”

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson

Volunteer: Jean-Cyrille, Manager of the Bafia centre

Jean-Cyrille Monthe is in charge of the Bafia centre but is also a Senior Education Advisor.

He was born in the capital Yaoundé but he fell in love with the Bafia region (some 130Km away, to the north) and decided to live there. In 2007, he discovered the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA), and since he has worked hard to help children develop and gain self-confidence through after-school tutoring and sport.

Jean-Cyrille was keen to create a Large Family where mutual aid and sharing are the key words! His typical day: “It’s a day of coaching and advice; children are not alone!” As for rugby: this “slightly wacky sport” allows his students to learn team spirit, solidarity and creativeness!

It is with great enthusiasm and emotion that he thanks all the volunteers and donors of the SBA for their involvement and support.

 

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson

Volunteer: Abaa, Manager of the Zoétélé centre

Abaa discovered rugby at the University of Yaoundé. Following an ill-treated injury, he put his career aside to promote the practice of rugby in rural areas! This is how he came to choose Zoétélé, his mother’s village, to share his passion for rugby with the children.

In 2009, he met for the first time the coaches of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) who were offering training for rugby coaches. In 2013, he became rugby coordinator in Cameroon for the SBA and it was the year 2018 in which he assumed the role of manager of our new school support centre in Zoétélé.

During rugby training and after-school tutoring sessions, Abaa wants the centre to become a place of expression for these children. He also wants to convey values such as respect, sharing, going beyond oneself, altruism and living together.

His word to donors? : “Please, continue to support us as you do and give us strength, we have work to do!”

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson