Cameroon: The HHH of Douala organised a charity walk by in support of our children!

A charity walk took place on Sunday, October 23, at the Douala motocross terrain during which material donations were collected for our association.

The Douala HHH Committee organised this event and we would like to thank them for choosing the Serge Betsen Academy as their beneficiary association.

 

Around sixty walkers took part in this sports and family morning and we thank them all warmly for the donations they brought for our young people. On the partner side, we would like to thank ICRAFON who donated pens and supplies, the SABC Group for the drinks, ADC Mx Park who allowed access to the cross country field, and finally The HHH of Douala for their donation of hygiene products and the organisation of this beautiful event, with the help of Hubert Gonella as point of contact.

Vanelle, a former member of the SBA from the class of 2009 and who now works in Hubert Gonella’s company was present to represent the association; together with Baudouin, a former member of the Bangangté centre who is now a computer science teacher, and Djibril, the manager of the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté. Djibril held a stand about the association and presented the work of Philippe, our deaf and mute protégé who creates decorative objects in pearls and bamboo furniture in the workshop intended for him at the centre.

 

The generous donations, the majority of which were school supplies, hygiene products and clothes, were shared between our centres of Bangangté (Eau Claire) and Bafia.

The distributions have already taken place, and it was a joyful moment for all the children who want to say a massive thank you to the donors. Our team of young rugby players from Bangangté have not been forgotten either, they received soaps in order to be able to wash their sport equipment; they also convey their thanks to the donors.

 

 

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

Cameroon and Mali: Back to school and well equipped to do so!

“Back to school” is always a busy time at the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) and this year was no exception to the rule. The families of the children in our centres being very poor, they do not have the means to buy the necessary school supplies. So the SBA, thanks to the generosity of our donors, steps in to take care of this expense.

This September the children of the Serge Betsen Academy Cameroon received a new “Victor” school bag to get the year off to a good start! Each child was then able to put away the precious school supplies distributed by their centre manager.

 
 

We would like to thank all the donors and especially Stéphanie Mace (Obadia) who is following in her father’s footsteps, Victor Obadia, to support our bag-making project every two years. And massive congratulations to Clarisse, our seamstress from Yaoundé for these so original and useful creations!

In Mali, the start of the school year took place at the beginning of October and the young people there were able to attend their first school day with all the right equipment, the precious school supplies having been distributed a few days before the start of the school year. This year, they were very spoiled by the AAMFOM association (American Association of Members of the French Order of Merit) based in the United States. Indeed, AAMFOM made such a donation that it has allowed the SBA Mali centre to obtain all the textbooks and school supplies necessary for the 90 children of the centre, as well as 2 computers for the teachers of the centre and a health & emergency kit for the rugby players. Thanks to the donation of the AAMFOM, we were also able to buy school books for the secondary students of the Zoétélé centre. Abaa, the manager of the centre had been waiting for those books since 2020. Mr. Jacques Bodelle, Vice-President and Treasurer of AAMFOM even suggested that a goat be offered to the centre so that the children can learn how to look after it and express its milk. We can expect great anecdotes with this new furry companion!

Please see here-below the photos of the distribution of school supplies to the children and also those of the two computers handed over to the teachers of the SBA Mali:

 
  
    

This is the third year that AAMFOM has supported us. A first donation in 2020 allowed the making of 140 “Victor” school bags for our children in Cameroon. A second donation in 2021 was put to good use in order to make the 90 “Victor” school bags for our children in Mali for their 2021-2022 school year.

We wish a great school year to all our SBA students!

And they all truly thank our donors:

Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson

Bangui: A third mission carried out in the Central African Republic as part of the TRAUMA Project!

All good things come in threes! It was on July 24, and not a day later, that the coaches of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) Cameroon had the pleasure of heading for Bangui in the Central African Republic as part of the TRAUMA Project. This project, whose funding organisation is the Crisis and Support Centre of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is led by the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Institut Louis Joinet (IFJD) and implemented and carried out by the Serge Betsen Academy in partnership with the Central African Rugby Federation. Idriss Tcheumkeu Ketcha was, on this occasion, accompanied by Loïc Zeutsop Kenfack, another experienced coach from the association. Always driven by the initial objectives of the TRAUMA Project, namely the reconciliation of the Central African people through the values ​​conveyed by rugby, our coaches had the following objectives during this third mission in Bangui:

  • Continue to verify the achievements of local coaches since the 2nd mission while continuing their training on ever more technical subjects.
  • Organise a week of inter-establishment matches in order to test the feasibility of the major final tournament scheduled for November 2022 in the Barthélemy Boganda sports complex, which can accommodate 20,000 people.

Idriss Tcheumkeu Ketcha, head of the technical committee and Loïc Zeutsop Kenfack, head of the refereeing committee wanted to benefit from more time on site to better prepare coaches and players. So they stayed there for a month. The sequence of inter-establishment matches took place after the departure of the coaches of SBA Cameroon. This requirement which characterises the coaches of the Serge Betsen Academy coupled with the formidable work of the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Institut Louis Joinet (IFJD) which is the project leader and our partner, the Central African Rugby Federation have allowed the children to participate in these very successful matches. Indeed, the eleven primary, secondary and higher education establishments involved were able to take part in these matches, which all took place in a warm atmosphere. In addition to the quality of the game and the investment of all, this week allowed the implementation of the values ​​of rugby. No incident and no conflict were to be deplored. There were smiles galore, even for the losers who will be able to take their revenge on the pitch in November!

 

Photos © IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet

After an intense month of tuition, organisation and rugby training, the coaches of the Serge Betsen Academy returned to Cameroon at the end of August with the feeling of accomplishment to enjoy some well-deserved rest.

Thank you to the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Institut Louis Joinet (IFJD) for the trust placed in our association within the framework of this Project.

 

 

 

Article écrit par Nathan Barbier

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

Cameroon: Children protected against malaria and parasites!

This school year, the children of our centres, together with their leaders, have once again benefited from the implementation of anti-malaria and anti-parasite campaigns. Their health being our priority, all the children are also monitored by our nurses and cared for when necessary. Their family members are also welcome in our infirmaries.

Josué, the nurse at the Jardin Eden centre, ordered anti-malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) and anti-malarial drugs from a laboratory and the boxes were then distributed to the various centres. Each nurse then saw to the implementation of distribution operations during the year in order to best protect our children.

Above, the grateful and happy children of the Jardin Eden centre

At the Jardin Eden centre, Josué, for example, with the tests carried out four anti-malaria screening campaigns during the year. The third malaria screening campaign was carried out at the beginning of May 5, 2022, and all the children present tested negative. Proof that once again the initiative is beneficial and that the anti-malarial treatment is effective.

As for the anti-parasite drugs, they were distributed in all our centres in more than one wave according to the diagnosis established by our nurses. Intestinal parasites are very common in Cameroon and they make our children suffer.

Above, the distribution of anti-parasite drugs

We would like to thank our donors and partners, in particular Ets Pellapore from Bormes-les-Mimosas (France) and our donor Jasmine Ritchie from Washington DC (USA) for their generous donations, as well as La Guilde for their donation Sport & Développement (a la Guilde program supported by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) (AFD)) specially dedicated to the well-being of the children of the centres of Jardin Eden and of Zoétélé. A big thank you for allowing us to care for our children!

To fight against malaria, our moms from the SBA Coop, our agricultural cooperative, have also started producing Artemisia, in addition to corn and beans. In 2020, we approached the Maison de l’Artemisia in Yaoundé in order to understand all the benefits of this plant and to learn about the production of herbal teas. Seven plants were given to Djibril, head of the Eau Claire centre; sadly we lost two. From the remaining 5 plants, Djibril collected 350 grams of seeds so the mothers of the SBA Coop can produce in large quantities. 100 grams were donated to the Zoétélé and Jardin Eden centres to plant in the vegetable gardens. We now have around 30 plants; this year, the SBA Coop mothers’ plant-nursery is on a trial period. Moms and their families will use the herbal teas to help fight malaria. Some will be donated to the centre to make herbal tea for the children, in addition to the anti-malarial drugs. During the second campaign, the mothers of the SBA coop will be able to start marketing part of their production.

Thanks to the donation of Sport & Development, a new order for health cards was placed, to allow individual monitoring of the children.  For the creation of the Jardin Eden and Zoétélé health cards, Josué asked for the support of a graphic designer and a printer.

   

The famous health cards/booklets of Jardin Eden and in third position those of Zoétélé

As for the stocks of medicines in each infirmary, they are regularly renewed thanks to a quarterly budget made available to the nurses. For the first quarter, Josué, the nurse from Jardin Eden and Etoudi, for example, bought anti-flu drugs, considering the period of drought and the cold, dry wind that was blowing in the city of Yaoundé. An emergency fund is also included in our budgets to react quickly to any health concerns of young people and our team on site. It has come in handy more than once this year.

Above, two patients seen to by Mr. Jacques, the nurse at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté

In order to improve the health of our children, they are monitored regularly and care is provided when they become ill. Nutrition being also an integral part of our health component, meals are offered regularly in all centres. This school year, about 1000 meals are distributed per month in Cameroon.

Above, 2 of the weekly afternoon snacks at Jardin Eden

Before each meal, our children are asked to wash their hands. Our nurses, who are asked to raise awareness of personal hygiene especially during a pandemic regularly remind the children of the basic rules of hygiene.

 

Above, the hand-washing operation at the Zoétélé centre.

 

Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson

 

Bangui: A great second mission to the Central African Republic!

Having barely returned to Cameroon, Idriss Tcheumkeu Ketcha left on June 1 for his second mission to the Central African Republic as part of the TRAUMA Project. This project, funded by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre is carried out by the Institut Francophone pour la Justice et la Démocratie – Institut Louis Joinet (IFJD) (Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Louis Joinet Institute) and implemented by the Serge Betsen Academy in partnership with Ovale Citoyen and the Central African Rugby Federation. The main objective of the second mission was to assess the progress and achievements one month after the first mission.

 

  
Photos © IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet 2022

 

The coaches visited as many schools as possible to assess the impact of the sessions on the rugby and social development of the young people. Indeed, the latter took advantage of the presence of international coaches to work and deepen essential notions to become great rugby players or coaches: kicking: very tactical aspect in high-level rugby, scrums: true test of strength characteristic of rugby and its collective values ​​and the rucks: essential phase of the games to ensure the continuity of the game.Idriss and the whole team were able to assess the national coaches by attending the training sessions managed by them in the different schools of Bangui:

  • Fatima School, 3 sessions
  • Boganda High School, 1 session
  • Caron high school, 3 sessions
  • School for the deaf and dumb, 2 sessions
  • Boy Rabe 2 school, 1 session
  • The Bimbo school, 1 session.

At the end of this trip, Idriss noticed a real improvement in the coaches and also how much they had gained in confidence since his last mission. According to him: they do a very good job! However, the coaches can still improve on certain areas, such as their ability to “adapt well to sessions according to the circumstances, the category, the expectation, the objectives and the purpose of their initiations”, hence the interest of this accompaniment.

This second mission was also an opportunity to talk about the famous Bangui inter-school final tournament that all the children are looking forward to.

Thank you to the IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet for this collaboration and long live rugby in Bangui.

 

 

Article written in French by Nathan Barbier

Translation: Birgé-Wilson

Cameroon: Making the most of computer donations!

The entire Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) would like to thank our two partners, the ATF Group – Bis Repetita and BRED Banque Populaire for the 6 computers that were recently donated by them.

Another refurbished laptop offered by our loyal partner, the ATF – Bis Repetita Group is used by Sylvie Ledard, our Project Manager for her trips to Cameroon and Mali.

 

As for the 5 other computers donated by the BRED Banque Populaire at the initiative of the Regional Management of Rouen and Rachid Achouri, they were transported by Serge Betsen and Sylvie to Cameroon during their June trip. Three computers were donated to the Bafia centre and two others to the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté to complete the computer rooms.

 

Distribution in the centre of Bafia:

 

Distribution at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté:

The children are already making good use of them. We may even see computer scientists in the class of 2022!

During the summer, the centres are reorganised: some focus on specific activities and refresher courses. Baudouin, a former member of the SBA, leads intensive computer courses at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté for our young people and for mothers from our agricultural cooperative, the SBA Coop.

 

During the summer, from July 8, he gives six hours of computer lessons, three times a week. He also installed a large projector screen and an overhead projector to ensure that his training is given in the best conditions.

 

 

 

This intensive training was set up at the request of our young people and our mothers. So again: A big thank you to our partners and donors for allowing us to meet the needs of young people and mothers and to turn them into true professionals. You can watch an overview of the first training sessions below.

 

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

Bangui: A first mission in the Central African Republic as part of the “TRAUMA Project” of the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Louis Joinet : Success!

It was March 30, it was 11:30 a.m. in Douala when two coaches from the Serge Betsen Academy flew off to Bangui in the Central African Republic. Idriss Tcheumkeu Ketcha and Jacques Matsatsop Toresse (photo below), pure products of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) training, were going to share their expertise and their passion for rugby with young people and local coaches as part of the TRAUMA project of the Institut Francophone pour la Justice et la Démocratie (IFJD) – Institut Louis Joinet.

The main objective of the TRAUMA Project, which is sponsored by the Centre de crise et de soutien du ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères français (the Crisis and Support Centre of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is to understand and take into account post-conflict trauma in the Central African Republic among children and teenagers. You can find more information about the project in general here. It was the IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet Association that called upon the rugby expertise of the SBA in Africa to set up its project in Bangui in collaboration with Ovale Citoyen and the Central African Rugby Federation. The training must allow Central African coaches to have the ethical and sporting principles of rugby, as well as a clear methodology for the sessions. All this with a view to establishing rugby and its values ​​in the long term in Bangui.

The adventure of our two coaches in Bangui therefore began with the training of national coaches who were able to discover the working methods of the SBA. Our two coaches having quickly achieved unanimity as to their ease in handling the field sessions, they mainly took care of the practical training.

 

Les deux coachs de la SBA, Idriss (à gauche) et Jacques (à droite)

 

Once the national coaches were trained, the latter, still accompanied by Idriss, Jacques as well as Marine and Lucas from Ovale Citoyen, threw themselves into the deep end with the children. 5 schools for 6 training sessions benefited from the initiation to rugby.

The first training took place on April 11 at the Boganda School. Our coaches started strong with more than a hundred young people to manage in the courtyard of the establishment. Victim of its success, the rugby program had to adapt by splitting the young people according to the following set-up: 4 groups of around forty children supervised by two coaches each, an international coach with a national coach always with a view of transmission. Due to the high numbers, on the day, the children couldn’t all be introduced to rugby… But it’s only a postponement for all the observers of the day, our coaches will be back!

The SBA also had the opportunity to train in the Fatima public school, the Caron high school or even at the Ngaraba school. Not to mention the school for the deaf and dumb in which they had to adapt their session to the players. Our coaches were very impressed with their seriousness and motivation.

In order to understand the work carried out by our coaches, here is an example of a session prepared by them for the school for the deaf and dumb:

  • Workshop 1: Warming up phase

4 exercises for the warm-up, which are the following:

  1. Holding the ball at shoulder height
  2. Moving the ball around the hips
  3. Ball between the legs
  4. Throwing the ball and catching it

5 minutes were allocated to each of these exercises. Then, the coaches supervised the static stretching; this was followed by getting the children well rehydrated.

  • Workshop 2: Working the ball

Objective: hold the ball with 2 hands at shoulder height without dropping it over the entire duration of a course. Once this course is finished, the player must pass the ball to the next player who will complete the course in turn (in the form of a relay) Variables: modify the route of the course.

  • Workshop 3: Challenge

A maximum of passages on the previous workshop in 1 minute!

2:30 p.m., Wednesday April 27, Idriss and Jacques returned to Cameroon, leaving their know-how behind. Their next trip will be at the end of May for a new mission with the primary objective: to take stock of the achievements of national coaches over the period of one month since the departure of the SBA.

Finally, to add to the beautiful story, Jacques, at the end of his mission in Bangui, was able to buy a computer for himself and “enter the computer world”!

 

Jacques avec son ordinateur portable

Here are also some photos ©IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet 2022 taken during the first mission:

  

  

Report written by Nathan Barbier

 

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

Cameroon: A visit that our children will never forget, that of Serge Betsen!

The children of the Serge Betsen Academy were overjoyed to welcome Serge Betsen and Sylvie Ledard, our Project Manager, to Cameroon in June 2022. Serge and Sylvie stayed on site for about ten days in order to go round the various centres, spending time with the children and the volunteers, distributing numerous donations, discussing in depth with the managers about the current projects and going to meet our partners to thank them and also to make new contacts. A moving reunion and beautiful moments shared!

 

Visit of the centre of Bafia

Christophe, our volunteer, was also on the trip to take pictures and lend a hand, together with Romain Magellan, a former rugby player with an incomparable sense of humour, who assisted the coaches on the playing ground and entertained our children during various rugby training. We thank them both from the bottom of our hearts!
A few days after his return, Serge wrote: “A stay at and with the Serge Betsen Academy is always unforgettable! Thank you to all the children of SBA Cameroon for your warm welcome, to the volunteers of the many sites for your dedication, to the firms that welcomed us, to the donors and partners for following us.” Many projects were worked on during Serge’s stay; you can visit our social networks to follow in detail the progress of: the “SBA Pads project” (production and distribution of washable sanitary towels), the “Victor” bags which will be distributed before the start of the school year, the “Rugby4Kids” project, the SBA Coop, the implementation of intensive computer courses, etc.

Rugby session at the Eau Claire centre

All the children of SBA Cameroon and the coaches on site would like to thank Romain Magellan, Sylvie Ledard, Christophe and Serge Betsen for the extraordinary moments spent together in recent weeks. The equipment provided by our donors is very valuable to us to continue our activities: computers, rugby equipment, sportswear, toys, etc. Many thanks to our donors and partners for their generosity, as well as to the people that we were able to meet, such as Eric Niat, the mayor of Bangangté.

Eric Niat, Mayor of Bangangté and Serge Betsen wearing a T-Shirt of the Serge Betsen X IZBAC collection, in front of the City Hall

Some of the children met “Tonton Serge” for the very first time and will be marked for life by this long-awaited encounter. As for Sylvie, it was with great emotion that she met the children and the volunteers with whom she has spent long periods of time on the phone since taking up her post as Project Manager in February 2022.

 

What happiness in this month of June at the SBA!

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

Bangui: Signing of the agreement between the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Institut Louis Joinet and the Serge Betsen Academy

It was an honour for our President Serge Betsen to be greeted by Laurence Fischer, Ambassador for Sport at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEFA) on Friday 20 May 2022 to sign the agreement between the “Institut Francophone pour la Justice et la Démocratie (IFJD) – Institut Louis Joinet” and the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA).

 

At the SBA, we are proud to participate in the “TRAUMA Project” funded by the “Centre de crise et de soutien du ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères français” and therefore enable young people who have experienced conflicts in their lives to be introduced to touch-rugby in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2022. It is a pleasure to collaborate with the IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet, Ovale Citoyen and the Central African Rugby Federation.

 

Photo ©IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet 2022

 

Here is a presentation of the TRAUMA Project by the IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet:

“The main objective is to understand and take into account, among children and teenagers, post-conflict trauma in the Central African Republic. In CAR, the notions of “trauma” and “resilience” are frequently used, while the need for clinical psychologists is frequently highlighted. Considering that the young people are the future of the Central African Republic, particular attention must be paid to children and teenagers who grow up, from an early age, in a violent and conflictual atmosphere. This is why the Trauma project is dedicated to them!

  • Understand and assess

Understand the specificities of the traumas generated by the crises in the Central African Republic and assess their impact on children and teenagers.

  • Promote appropriate care

Contribute to ensuring that professionals from the mechanisms of the penal chain on the one hand and of non-judicial mechanisms of Transitional Justice on the other hand support children and teenagers by limiting the risks of re-traumatisation.

  • Improve resilience

Contribute to children and teenagers reclaiming a framework and a living-together.”

As part of the TRAUMA Project, three undertakings around the practice of touch-rugby are planned for 2022. The Serge Betsen Academy will supervise 10 groups of 20 children, i.e. 200 children in three different levels groups: 6-8 years old, 9-11 years old and 12-14 years old. Ovale Citoyen will supervise 15 groups of 20 teenagers, i.e. 300 teenagers, also in three groups. 500 children and teenagers will thus benefit from the rugby activity.

To learn more about the TRAUMA project, please read this brochure.

A huge thank you to the IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet for the trust you place in us in carrying out this mission.

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

Cameroon: Our children were happy to receive donations of clothes and toys

Christophe collected the equivalent of 4 suitcases of clothes and toys from those around him. We would like to give a massive thank you to the donors for their generosity as well as Christophe for his support.

 

Thank you to Emmanuel Ayet, Rémy Ayet, Nastasia Cervantes, Julien Pogeant, Christine Breux, Sandrine Gauthier and Pierre Azemar!

Tuesday was the 4th time that Christophe met Merlin, logistics manager of the Serge Betsen Academy, to handover donations. This time, he was also able to meet the little ones from Jardin Eden as well as Christelle and Moise. He also got two new tables for the Jardin Eden centre, that the little ones were delighted to inaugurate.

The donations will be dispatched and shared between the different centres of SBA Cameroon.

Les affaires ont ensuite été dispatchées entre les différents centres de la SBA Cameroun.

  • Donations for the Jardin Eden centre:

   

   

 

  • Distribution of the donations at the Zoétélé centre:

 

   

  • Distribution at the Bafia centre:

  • Distribution at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté

 

Distribution des donations au centre Eau Claire

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson