Event: Thanks to Ovalies UniLaSalle for their support of 16,666€!

The Serge Betsen Academy would like to convey a massive thank you to Ovalies UniLaSalle and all its partners for all the support! This 50,000€ check to be shared with two other great associations, “Une ballade pour Justine et Lou” and “L’Arche à Beauvais ” will change many lives!

 

Remise du chèque des Ovalies UniLaSalle 2022 !

 

Our President Serge Betsen was delighted to participate in the Ovalies adventure this year and to represent the association on 6 and 7 May in Beauvais, these are his words:

 

“It is always a real pleasure to participate in a rugby event and watch brilliant students practicing my sport! Congratulations to all the participants of the Ovalies UniLaSalle and the PURPAN School of Engineers (VII female and XV male), LéoRugby (VII male), VetAgro Sup (Pompom) for their respective wins.

It is wonderful to see young people participating in this project which combines sport, solidarity and sharing by helping associations such as “Une ballade pour Justine et Lou”, “L’Arche à Beauvais ”, and the SBA.

A big thank you also to Dimitri Yachvili and Fanny Horta for their time and to all the curious people who came to our stand to find out more about our actions in Cameroon and Mali. It was a real pleasure for me, and Charles-Edouard whom I thank for his help, to meet you.

Many thanks too to the Ovalies team, Paul Vincant and Albane Tenneson for their warm welcome and support. Thanks to Coucou Hibou and Paul-Louis de Juglart for supporting the SBA through its collection of Olympia jerseys.

Congratulations to all for the success of this great charity tournament of students’ rugby.”

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

Mali : A fantastic donation from the legends at Hornets Women’s Rugby

The children of the Serge Betsen Academy in Mali received another fantastic donation thanks to our friend Dan W., this time from the legends at Hornets Women’s Rugby in the United Kingdom. There were rugby balls, divers rugby equipment, water bottles and jerseys! Regarding the rugby equipment, they will be very useful during our sessions, and the adult jerseys have been offered to our coaches.
Everything was gratefully received particularly by the girls who were inspired to receive kit from an English ladies team. Massive thank you to Lindsay Pilgrim and Rachel Allchurch for pulling it together. It will make a real difference to our girls.
It is always a great pleasure for our coaches to be helped by Dan W during the sessions. We want to thank him deeply for his presence and his help to meet the needs of the centre and his efforts to encourage donations from rugby clubs in his home country.
Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Donation: The SBA Mali thanks Fairford RFC for its support

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.”

 

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

 

Partnership: Bistrot Régent is now supporting our charity

Many thanks to Bistro Régent for this new partnership with the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA).

You might already know Bistro Régent: it is a chain of franchised restaurants present throughout France. Thanks to Bistro Regent, the SBA will benefit from micro-donations from their customers. They will be able to round their bill to the higher euro when paying on Electronic Payment Terminal (EPT) and thus support our nutrition program. Indeed, with 1 euro (£0,84), the SBA can prepare 3 meals for our children.

This solidarity rounding-up operation has been set up at the restaurant Bistro Régent of Castres (81) for now.

We would like to thank Bistro Régent for their support as well as all their gourmet and supportive customers!

Event: Auction Sale in Clichy in support of the Serge Betsen Academy!

Our President, Serge Betsen has kept very strong ties with the city of Clichy-la-Garenne, where it all started for him. Serge Betsen made his rugby debut at CS CLICHY and when he returns there it is always with a lot of emotion.

During the last day of the POP TRANSVERSALE exhibition, on June 29, the town hall of Clichy organised an auction in partnership with the auction house LILADAM ENCHERES. Six physical artworks by YSY were put on sale along with their NTF (a one-of-a-kind and impossible to duplicate digital token) which you can discover below.

 

YSY, whose real name is Youssef SY, is a talented artist passionate about the iconic characters of 90’s pop culture. A few days before the sale, Serge Betsen had the chance to meet the artist and visit his exhibition. Our President was also warmly welcomed by Mr. Stéphane Cochepain, first deputy mayor of Clichy, Caroline Mercier, deputy mayor in charge of community life, children’s rights and child protection, Luc Mercier, Deputy Mayor for Culture, International Relations and Tourism, and their teams.

The town hall of Clichy had suggested, and the artist agreed, that part of the profits from the sale would be donated to the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA). On the evening of the auction, following the sale of three artworks: Petit Prince, Goldorak and Gaulois together with their NTF, the very nice sum of 6,275€ was donated to our association.As for the other artworks: Robot, Rouquin and Alien (see above) as well as their NTF, they are still for sale. If you are interested please contact the YSY representative, Vincent Astolfi (vincastolfi@gmail.com) before July 22. A portion of the profits from these sales will also be donated to our association.

The entire SBA would like to thank YSY, Mr. Rémi Muzeau, Mr. Stéphane Cochepain, Mrs. Caroline Mercier, Mr. Luc Mercier, and the entire team of the town hall of Clichy and of course, the buyers for their support toward the SBA. We congratulate YSY and the town hall of Clichy as well as the Pavillon Vendôme and the auction house of LILADAM ENCHERES for this beautiful exhibition.

Translation: Katy Birgé-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

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

 

 

 

 

 

“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 on 19th May 2022 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!