“An evening with Serge Betsen & Friends”: A successful charitable event thanks to the participants!

Our event “An evening with Serge Betsen & Friends” was a major success on all accounts. Serge Betsen and all our team want to thank everyone who contributed to this successful charitable event and say a massive thank you to TFA Ltd and Arun Sharma for organizing the evening!

It was a pleasure to spend the evening with 50 generous and enthusiastic, share a delicious dinner at M Restaurant Victoria in a great atmosphere thanks to Simon Shaw. The rugby legends were in top shape, the quiz by TFA Ltd was great fun and the auctions by Go Fundraising were fab. And of course, the discussions about rugby were passionate. Congrats to the Hadley Herberts team for being the 2022 SBA Quiz Champions!

We are pleased to let you know that the benefits of the event are a bit more than £14,000. This sum will be used to carry out our mission in Cameroon and Mali and will make sure a positive impact on the lives of our children.

We are so grateful to our sponsors and partners for making this event possible. Thank you to:

– our sponsors: Audio Network, Event headline sponsor and STH Group UK, Quiz round sponsor
– the organiser of the evening, TFA Ltd and Arun Sharma for offering his time and skills
– our legends, Aled Brew, Bryan Redpath, Kevin Maggs and of course Serge Betsen for hosting the quiz
LePetitJournal.com Londres and French Morning London for helping us with promotion.
– Ed Telling for being our photographer.

Please find here the photos of the event by TELLING PHOTOGRAPHY.

See you next year for another edition!

 

  

Donation : Thank you to the Grange Primary School in Ealing for your support!

A big thank you to the Year 5 team and parents of students of the Grange Primary School in Ealing for donating £802,85 to our charity.

We also want to thank the Year 5 students of the school for being involved in this fundraiser. It is so nice to see UK students being actively working on this fundraising project devoted to underprivileged children in Cameroon and Mali. Your efforts enable us to give our children a better access to education, health and rugby.

This collection was made possible thanks to Jane Morato, our SBA ambassador and her Year 5 colleagues. We would like to thank them very much for their ongoing support to our charity.

Jane plans to spread the words about our actions within different schools in London. Raising awareness about the difficulties that our children are facing on a daily basis is crucial to make things change.

 

Grange Primary School

Grange Primary School

Event: An evening with Serge Betsen & Friends, Dinner, live quiz and legends Q&A, 19 May 2022, M Victoria Street London

We are very pleased to let you know that we have set a new date and a new location for our event.
Our “Evening with Serge Betsen & Friends – Dinner, live quiz and legends Q&A” organized by TFA Ltd will take place on Thursday 19th May at 6:00pm at M Victoria Street, 74 Victoria St, London, SW1E 6SQ, UK. This event will be sponsored by Audio Network, as Event headline sponsor, along with STH (Sports Travel & Hospitality Group), as Quiz round sponsor.

 

The rugby legends will discuss, dispute and digest what’s been happening on the pitch, and we hope you will be able to join us. It should be a fantastic evening which includes a delicious 3-course meal, opportunity to mix and quiz our Rugby Legends and the chance to win the title of SBA Quiz Champions.

 

Please join us from 6pm. Upon arrival please advise the concierge you are attending the Serge Betsen Academy event and they will show you the cloakroom and the Grill room, where the event is taking place. You will be able to have drinks and pay for them at the bar. The dress code is smart casual.

 

Please register your team and book your dinner (£99), table (£500) or online quiz spot (£10) here! You can pay for your tickets via our donation page hereWe would really appreciate if you would be able to do this prior to the event. There will be an auction organized by Go Fundraising so get ready to bid! All proceeds will go to our charity.

 

Also, please note that the menu will be the following. If you can let us know in advance your preferences by email (mailys@sergebetsenacademy.org et sba-quiz@tfaltd.co.uk), by Friday 13 May 5pm, it would be great.

 

– STARTERS
1) FRIED CHICKEN BAO Fermented Chilli Glaze | Kaffir Lime
or, 2) BURRATA & RADISHES Black Curry | Honey | Walnuts (V)
– MAINS
1) BRITISH ASHDALE FARM Sirloin 300G | Black Garlic | Chips | Sauce
or, 2) CACIO E PEPE Pecorino | Butter | Pepper (V)
– DESSERT
CHOCOLATE BROWNIE Raspberry Gel | Honeycomb | Snickers Ice Cream

 

For those who cannot join us, it will be possible to take the quiz online, however, you won’t be able to join the evening from your screen.

 

We can’t wait to spend the evening with you and your friends. Please spread the word!

 

News: Serge Betsen deeply thank Maman Odile for these last 10 years!

A word from our President, Serge Betsen about the involvement of Odile Prevot these past 10 years :

 

“The children of the SBA, all marked for life by MAMAN ODILE, join me and the whole team in thanking her from the bottom of their hearts!

I would like to thank Odile Prévot for the work accomplished as a member of the board and CEO of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA), over the past 10 years.

Ever since her arrival back in 2012, the actions of Odile – now MAMAN ODILE for all our children – have been absolutely essential to the development of our association.

I commend her volume of work, her ambition, her pugnacity, her rigour, her commitment, her sense of organisation, her meticulous and efficient follow-up of files and her ability to find solutions, at all costs, so that our children benefit from the best possible support.

Odile has given a lot to the SBA, and we will miss her energy as well as her traditional and long trips to Cameroon since 2012 and to Mali since 2020.

MAMAN ODILE has of course greatly contributed to the implementation of the education-health-rugby triptych in all of our centres. She has also led innovative projects based on the fight for women’s empowerment and gender equality, such as the SBA Coop (our agricultural cooperative created in 2016, which now brings together 20 mothers from the centre of Bangangté who grow beans, corn and recently Artemisia to fight against malaria) and the SBA Pads project (production and distribution of washable sanitary towels contributing to the well-being of girls and the fight against school drop-out). She was also at the initiative of the opening of the SBA in the USA and in Mali, and enabled the centre of Mali to pay particular attention to girls. It is also thanks to her hard work that we have been able to collaborate with various partners and institutions, in particular the French Development Agency, thus enabling us to consolidate our projects and give them greater scope.

I will keep excellent memories of this collaboration with MAMAN ODILE.

On behalf of the children and of all our volunteers and partners, and myself, I wish you, Odile, a great continuation in your future projects. You will remain in the hearts of the children of the SBA, who are also your children.

“Milesker Anitz” (thank you very much, in Basque language)”

Serge Betsen

 

 

A translation by Katy Birge-Wilson

Odile Prevot: Her farewell message

As Odile Prevot is leaving the Serge Betsen Academy, she wanted to share this message:

“Closing a chapter is never easy… I write this post as I regroup from my last days as the CEO of the Serge Betsen Academy (“SBA”) after 10 years of volunteering… WOW!

I originally joined SBA with 3 intentions:

(1)  To contribute to a cause I believed in
(2)  To make change happen by providing the charity with my insight and expertise
(3)  To make an impact

In 10 years, I’m grateful not only to have stayed true to these intentions but also to have had so many wonderful experiences that I will keep as cherished memories forever.

This chapter was very rich in terms of projects that I set up from the Co-op of the rural women in Cameroon, the washable sanitary pads for the girls in Mali and Cameroun , the opening of SBA in Washington DC and later in Mali – but most memorably the relationships were incredible.

It’s never easy to leave a “family” but I do it with fond memories and lifelong friendships.

Thank you to the staff Jean Cyrille, Djibril, Chrystelle, Merlin, Abba, Moise, Josue in Cameroon and Yaya in Mali, to the staff in France and abroad, Jenna Delmas, Alexia Ceccherini, Marie O’Grady (Marin la Meslée), Mailys Finel Drouault, Sylvie, to the kids who gave me so much joy, to my super Moms in Bangangte who are on the fast track path to financial independence, to all our volunteers, ambassadors and donors who believed in this great story.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with my board members and am confident that the charity is much stronger than when I joined – with a budget that I multiplied by 10 in 10 years, a fantastic team, better and clearer communication, strong governance, a national and international recognition, and a successful financing plan which will take the charity to a next level. None of this would have been possible without the support of our sponsors — special thanks to Agence Française de Développement for recognizing our work on the ground and our potential to do more– and our terrific team. I strongly believe that the charity is in good hands with fresh leadership in place for this next part of the journey. Serge Betsen, you have been an inspiration, thank you for letting me lead the Serge Betsen Academy for the past 10 years, and I look forward to where you will take the SBA next!”

Odile Prevot

Event: The Ovalies UniLaSalle 2022 are supporting us!

We are very happy to have been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the Ovalies UniLaSalle 2022 with the charities, Une ballade pour Justine et Lou and L’Arche à Beauvais.
We can’t wait to attend this event on 6 and 7 May in Beauvais! It is the biggest uni rugby tournament with a charitable touch and we fell very grateful to be part of it!
Serge Betsen will be present at the tournament.

Thank you to the Ovalies UniLaSalle team and to their partners for their support.

 

 

Ovalies UniLaSalle

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

Cameroon: A magnificent Christmas meal in our centres

In all of our five centres in Cameroon, the little ones and the young adults got together to share the traditional Christmas meal. The little ones from the Jardin Eden and the Eau Claire centres spent a lot of time decorating their centre for the occasion, thanks in particular to the balloons offered by Mr. Marco Sentein, whom we also would like to thank. As for the older ones, they actively participated in the preparation of the meals. The young rugby players from Bangangté and Etoudi were not forgotten and also took part in the celebration.

Joy, good humour and gratitude were on the agenda of these beautiful celebrations punctuated with songs, dances and games of all kinds.

It is thanks to Mr. Rachid Achouri that our children were able to celebrate Christmas as it should be. It is lucky that our President, Serge Betsen is now actively involved in the Rouen region and makes such beautiful encounters for the happiness of our children! THANK YOU.

Please see here-below the photos of our celebrations that we want to share with you.

  • Christmas at Jardin Eden: children were delighted to inflate, play with their balloons and then eat popcorn galore.

 Noël à Jardin Eden

  • Christmas at the Eau Claire centre: it’s always a treat to attend the traditional dance competition in such a festive atmosphere!

  • Christmas in Bafia, an opportunity to invite parents for a bit of a catch up and allow all families to enjoy the party.

Noël à Zoétélé

  • Christmas at Zoétélé, many songs were sung, with a microphone to make it more professional!

 

 

 

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

Mali: 90 school bags and 106 pairs of sliders for the children of SBA Mali

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.

Bags

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 qui transporte les sacs Victor au centre Installation des sacs Victor au centre

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.

Distribution sacs Victor

Distribution sacs Victor

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.

Tongues Slide Tribe UK

 Distribution des tongues Slide Tribe UK

All our children say a very big THANK YOU for all these precious gifts!

 

Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson

Cameroon: Help us grow the SBA Coop to the next level!

Our farming cooperative, the  SBA Coop needs your help to grow to the next level. Empowering its 20 current female members thanks to training is our new priority. Our CEO, Odile Prevot wanted to say a few words about the achievements of the cooperative and our objectives:

“I am so proud of my MOMS in Cameroon!

If a year ago I was telling the world that “Investing in Women is not effing charity”, today I am telling the world that I am glad to share the evidence that the Serge Betsen Academy’s (“SBA”) investment in time, effort and money into the SBA Coop is indeed not effing charity.

In 5 years the SBA Coop tripled its crop production, provided enough extra income for the mothers to finally afford to pay off all their kids expenses, a few of them started a new business, were able to buy lands and more importantly for the SBA itself, they were able to feed the kids of the charity for 18 months!  What about them paying back the micro loans consistently since day one?

We started with 11 Moms in 2017 and we are 20 today! Where will they stop?

SBA Coop is working to empower rural women farmers in Cameroon, providing them with seed funding, oversight and accompanying them… but they need more. They need essential tools for a more sustainable agriculture to ensure growth in changing climates, they need training in modern farming techniques and post-harvest to expand crop growth, they need book-keeping practices to track their associations’ financial status, as well as IT literacy training, or business and marketing building workshops.

If you know anyone who can help the SBA Coop grow to the next level, please reach out to: contact@sergebetsenacademy.org.”

 

SBA Coop

SBA Coop