Cameroon and Mali: Back to school and well equipped to do so!/in Actions, Mali Actions, News /by Mailys Finel
“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
Donation: The SBA Mali thanks Fairford RFC for its support/in Mali Actions, News /by Mailys Finel
The children and staff at the Serge Betsen Academy Mali (SBA Mali) were very pleased to receive a generous donation from Fairford RFC. The donation consisted of many matching shirts, which have helped the children look and feel like a team as well as some much needed boots and shorts. There was also a substantial amount of rugby equipment such as balls, cones and bibs which the charity has quickly put to use to enhance the training they are able to deliver to the children. A number of adult shirts have also been donated to the Bamako Hippos XV team.
Fairford RFC is a small community focused rugby club based in Gloucestershire, England who have men’s, women’s and junior sections. They discovered the SBA when one of their players who is currently working in Mali reported back on the great work that the SBA was doing for young children, particularly girls, in Bamako. The club was instantly eager to help and organised an impressive collection and within 2 weeks had a large amount of equipment on its way to Mali. Fairford RFC head coach Danny Briggs said “As soon as we heard about the SBA the whole club was keen to get involved. Rugby is a family united by our love for the game and its values. We are very happy to be able help our rugby brothers and sisters in Africa and thank the SBA for the opportunity to do so.”
The SBA thanks Fairford RFC for its generosity and support, they are a club that truly represents the community spirit and values of rugby. SBA President Serge Betsen added “Many thanks for your support to the kids in Bamako, I am very proud that the rugby family supports others in need.”
Mali: SBA Mali organised a rugby event with other rugby clubs from Bamako!/in Mali Actions /by Mailys Finel
Early February, the Serge Betsen Academy Mali (SBA Mali) organised and hosted a rugby event for the great pleasure of our children!
Around 160 children from the Bamako schools together with young people from surrounding clubs came to play, including USFAS, EDO, HIPPOS and of course SBA Mali. The U8, U10, U12 and U14 categories were represented. Mandjou, Kady, Tidjane and Sory, the coaches of SBA Mali provided the coaching.
The younger children met with lots of others and played many games related to rugby. As for the 35 older players, they participated in a XV’s rugby match.
Personalities from the world of rugby made the trip there and took the time to visit the centre: Mr Ali Y. Diarra, former technical director of the Malian Rugby Federation, who is now based in France as well as the new president of the Malian Federation of rugby, Me Yéhiya Touré.
It was a great rugby day and the SBA defended itself well against the other teams. The girls did especially well! At the end of the day, all the children got together to enjoy a good snack and they even danced a few steps to celebrate this time spent together.
Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson
Mali: 90 school bags and 106 pairs of sliders for the children of SBA Mali/in Mali Actions, News /by Mailys Finel
To celebrate the end of 2021, our donors wanted to spoil the children of SBA Mali. Each child who participates in the centre’s activities received a “Victor class bag” and a pair of sliders.
We would like to warmly thank the AAMFOM (American Association of Members of the French Order of Merit) for their donation, which has allowed us to locally produce 90 “Victor class bags” based on the model of those we have already been making in Cameroon since 2018. Ever since 2020, AAMFOM is one of our enthusiastic American donors. They help us ensure that our SBA children do not lose their books and notebooks and above all use their backpack as a schoolbag during the school year, and as travel bag in summer. Two bags in one, a bargain!
December 2021 also saw the distribution of 106 pairs of sliders offered by Slide Tribe UK and transported free of charge by our wonderful partner HAE.
Mandjou, SBA Mali designer and tailor, helped by a young man, produced between November and December 2021 – a record time – the 90 school bags planned for the children of the SBA Mali. In order to make these bags, which are both pretty and solid, he had to get 22 loincloths from the Bamako market, rags, poplin to make the inside of the bags and rolls of chain and thread. The AAMFOM donation was used to pay for the bags’ supplies, as well as the labour.
Then Yaya, the centre manager, transported the precious bags to the centre on the back of his motorbike, which was not an easy feat considering the total volume!
Yaya then distributed the bags for the great joy of the 90 children of SBA Mali, who will use them daily to go to school and to the centre, thus protecting their books and notebooks. They are very grateful to AAMFOM, to Jacques Bodelle and also to Victor Obadia after whom we named these bags.
As for the 106 pairs of sliders kindly donated by Slide Tribe UK, they were distributed among the children, coaches and players of the Hippos XV, thanks to which the SBA Mali adventure began. Because of the Bamako’s hot temperatures due to its steppe climate, there’s nothing like sliders for everyday life, so this gift comes in very handy. It is in fact also quite common for children to walk around barefooted due to the lack of shoes that fit them. So, many thanks to Tom Hassan, Founder of Slide Tribe UK for his solidarity commitment.
All our children say a very big THANK YOU for all these precious gifts!
Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson
Mali: Yaya Diallo, new Manager of the Serge Betsen Academy Mali/in Mali Actions /by Mailys Finel
Mali: Donated rugby gear safely arrived in Mali thanks to HAE Group/in Mali Actions, News /by Mailys Finel
In October, three different mails of donations transported by our dear partner HAE Group have been sent to the SBA Mali centre. Our SBA Mali children have received 162 pairs of rugby boots, 106 pairs of sliders but also 20 other pairs of shoes, 2 jumpers and and a pair of trousers.
A huge thank you to Neville Karai and the HAE Group for covering the cost of transportation of this athletic gear and for organizing the shipments with the help of Odile Prevot, our CEO.
The 106 pairs of lovely sliders have been kindly donated by Slide Tribe UK. We feel very grateful to Tom Hassan, Founder and Owner at Slide Tribe for this generous donation.
Regarding the 20 pairs of shoes, the 2 jumpers and and the pair of trousers, they have been collected by Dan Soso, a rugby coach at Maryland Exiles Youth Rugby in the US. We would like to thank all the young rugby players of this club for taking part in this collection.
The first shipment arrived in Bamako and the kids were overjoyed to discover their amazing rugby boots donated by Jamie Forrester! A distribution was organized on 17 October by the volunteers of our centre on the occasion of the Prophet’s birthday, a celebration that is very important in this country where Islam is prevailing.
The team of HAE has been providing us ongoing support and we would like to thank them deeply for their help and flexibility.
The Sliders safely arrived in Bamako
Mali: Odile Prévot talks about SBA Mali on ORTM, Mali’s national television channel/in Mali Actions, News /by Mailys Finel
Odile Prévot, CEO of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) was the guest of Amadou Kodio in “Samedi Loisirs”, a must-see program from the ORTM, the Office of Radio and Television of Mali. She was live at 2 p.m. (GMT) on Saturday 19 June 2021 and presented the great progress of SBA Mali. Thank you to Amadou Kodio and to the entire ORTM team for welcoming Odile Prévot!
The following day, on Sunday 20 June, in the presence of Serge Betsen and Odile Prévot, we inaugurated our after-school tutoring room dedicated to 25 girls aged from 8 to 13 and announced the opening of a medical dispensary within our centre. The Minister of Youth and Sports, in charge of Civic Education and Citizen Construction, Mr. Mossa Ag Attaher had honoured us with his presence in order to express his support for our activities. Following these magnificent steps forward by the SBA Mali, a report about this day was broadcast on Monday 21 June in “Score”, the evening sports program and rebroadcast the following morning at 10.00, on the 22, in the same program on ORTM1.
Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson
Mali: Thanks to Dr Safiatou Samassa, SBA Mali opens its medical dispensary/in Mali Actions, News /by Mailys Finel
Dr Safiatou Samassa is a renowned young obstetrician gynaecologist at the University Hospital Centre of Bamako.
It was Odile Prévot and Serge Betsen who immediately warmed to her unusual personality when they met each other in Bamako in June. Very sensitive to the situation of our children and to our mission, she agreed to volunteer to take care of our medical dispensary. From 6 August, she will be present, every Saturday, at the centre to offer medical check-ups and care to the children of SBA Mali and also their parents.
Her presence will also allow for talks with the girls on the taboos surrounding the condition of women in the country and the management of menstrual hygiene, with a view to the upcoming launch of the SBAPads project for the production and distribution of washable sanitary pads.
Thank you Doctor for your involvement!
Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson
Mali: TV5 Monde broadcasts on the launch of the education and health components of the SBA Mali/in Mali Actions, News /by Mailys Finel
Thank you to TV5MONDE for this report on SBA Mali and to Kaorou Magassa, journalist, for making the trip to meet Serge Betsen in Bamako.
Watching this report, Serge exclaimed:
“How wonderful it is for me to see the youth of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) full of energy!
Seeing our actions on site and the opportunities that we offer allows us once again to deploy our vision, which is based on 3 pillars: sport, education and health. This triptych is the DNA of the SBA, this great initiative of which I am super proud thanks to all those who on a daily basis make this vision a reality in the daily lives of the children whom we help every day, 365 days a year and this for the last 17 years.
You can watch the part of TV5 Monde’s news about my association here: https://youtu.be/bPzYghl9fq0 ”
Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson
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- Event: The SBA organises the first inter-school rugby tournament in BangangtéMarch 23, 2023 - 2:57 pm
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