Event: The SBA, a solidarity partner of the Anglet Beach Rugby Festival

The Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) was this year, once again, thrust into the limelight during the Anglet Beach Rugby Festival which was held on the Plage des Sables d’Or in Anglet on 23-24-25 July. On the occasion of this special “African rugby” edition, a team of ace volunteers held the stand of SBA goodies and Confections signed by Recycling Rugby. A raffle was even organised this year on our stand.

Serge Betsen attended the Festival on Saturday and Sunday. He had the pleasure to meet up the staff of the Festival, spend time with the volunteers of our stand, follow with interest the different matches on the sand, meet players and spectators, visit the stands and play rugby with the French Legends.

Our President, Serge Betsen along with the SBA warmly thank all the buyers who supported us, the curious who came to learn more about our mission, our volunteers for their enthusiasm and the Anglet Beach Rugby Festival team for their invitation and their donation of £1702 (2000€).

See you all next year!

Serge Betsen and the SBA X Recycling Rugby volunteers

SBA X Recycling Rugby Stand

French Legends team

Donation from the Anglet Beach Rugby Festival

Cameroon: Boxes of various equipment have arrived in our centres and are making our young people happy!

In every one of our centres in Cameroon, numerous boxes were received at the end of June and unwrapped with excitement. Their content was distributed to our young people who will now be well equipped. We would like to thank our partner Magma Aviation for transporting the donated items, all the donors for their generosity but also  Lionel Quenardel and his students of Diderot College in Massy for having so carefully sorted the equipment and packed the boxes with care.

The students from the Diderot College worked really hard and after several dozen hours (sorting, washing, packing, packaging, weighing, etc.) nearly half a ton (38 packages) of equipment left the college at the end of May.

Cartons emballés par le collège Diderot de Massy

 

These boxes contained sneakers, rugby boots, studs, rugby jerseys, rugby protections (helmets, shin guards, shoulder pads, base layers), other rugby equipment (KWay rain jackets, tracksuits, etc.) but also T-shirts and other everyday clothing, French learning books and soft toys. After a long trip, they have now been distributed to our young people in Cameroon.

Cartons de matériel  Carton de crampons

Maillots rugby Maillots rugby

Maillots rugby Chaussures

Les jeunes avec les casques de rugby  Livres pour les enfants

T-Shirts donnés Jeunes avec les T-Shirts

Enfants qui jouent au rugby en baskets Enfants qui jouent au rugby en baskets

Enfants qui jouent au rugby en baskets  Enfants qui jouent au rugby en baskets

Cartons de matériel Cartons de matériel 

Djibril et les enfants Groupe d'enfants équipés 

These pictures may seem quite normal, especially those taken on our sports fields, but one should keep in mind that children normally play rugby in street clothes and in flip-flops or even barefooted. The fact that thanks to you all they have the right shoes, jerseys and can play protected is just a huge pleasure for us, and even more so for them!

The Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) is lucky to count on volunteers and committed donors in order to improve the daily life of our young people. We cannot name you all, but please know that without you, the SBA could not go on with its mission. THANK YOU!

 

Translation: Katy Birge-Wilson

 

Cameroon: A pleasant meeting between Ms. Marthe Félicité Zintchem, Mayor of the municipality of #Bafia and our Secretary General, Odile Prévot

On 5 July, Mrs. Marthe Félicité Zintchem, Mayor of the municipality of Bafia had a meeting with our CEO, Odile Prévot, in her offices. Both are committed to supporting young people. Thank you, Madam Mayor, for having met up with Odile Prevot and for having been attentive to the actions of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA).

“First lady Mayor of Bafia, lawyer and woman of action, the children of the SBA centre in Bafia will be delighted with your visit!”

We would like to thank the Bafia Town Hall team for having published the following text following Odile’s visit:

 

“A distinguished guest with the Mayor.

The Mayor of the municipality of #Bafia, Marthe Félicité Zintchem in Bodio, has just had a one to one meeting with the CEO of the Serge Betsen Academy association, who paid her a courtesy visit. In this context, Mrs. Odile Prévot explained to her lawyer colleague the purpose of her visit to the town hall today. In fact, Mrs. Odile Prévot came to present to her learned colleague the Abraham and Sarah Centre of the Serge Betsen Academy, located next to the “Lycée Classique et Moderne de Bafia”. This centre was created in 2004 and takes care of young people aged from 11 to 20 years old. This year, more young girls than boys are to benefit from the centre, placed under the local supervision of Mister Jean Cyrille Monthe. The centre provides academic support, medical aid through the infirmary which the students attend on Saturdays and sporting support through several sporting activities including rugby, a discipline in which the promoter, Serge Betsen, played at the highest level until becoming world champion. The centre currently has 65 children and 150 are knocking on its doors. Mrs. Odile Prévot plans to implement the project of producing washable sanitary napkins for the benefit of the young girls of this centre, most of whom are destitute, on condition that this project produces results in Bangante where it is currently under experiment. If this project gets off to a good start, the idea is that 75% of the profits go to the girls for their wheat 75%, and 25% go to the centre for its operating costs.

The Mayor expressed her full approval of this project which contributes to the development of local youth while giving a real chance to the children of the underprivileged. This project captures her attention even more so, as above all it integrates the young people who are the fundamental axis of Marthe Félicité Zintchem’s actions in Bodio, in her capacity as first magistrate of the city of #Bafia. She will then have the opportunity to visit, with eagerness, the buildings of this centre. And it was on a note of mutual appreciation that the two robed women parted ways, not without wishing each other resounding success in the conduct of their respective duties. ”

 

Translation: Katy Birge-Wilson

Cameroon: Thanks to the ATF Group our centres are now equipped with new computers.

New computers, donated by the ATF Group, have arrived in Cameroon. Odile, our CEO, organised for them to travel with her from France at the beginning of July and ensures that they are properly installed during her tour of the centres.

Thanks to this great donation from the ATF Group, we were able to replace the old computers with new ones in the computer rooms of the Bafia and Eau Claire centres in Bangangté. Since 2017, we have been fortunate to count on the support of the ATF Group, a specialist in the lifecycle management of professional IT and mobile telephony equipment. In addition to financial donations, especially through repayment operations following the purchase of computer equipment, the ATF Group has made regular computer donations to equip the classrooms of the association’s various centres and allow children to learn all about computing.

In the Bafia centre, the two old computers below have been replaced by laptops. Max, IT manager at Bafia took care of their installation and very quickly the young people wanted to try these wonderful tools under Odile’s watchful eye.

 Installation Ordinateurs Groupe ATF a Bafia

Installation Ordinateurs Groupe ATF a Bafia  Ordinateurs Groupe ATF

The same operation occurred in the computer room of the Eau Claire centre: the new computers have also been installed and are making people happy.

Ordinateur Groupe ATF   Donation of a laptop by ATF

Donation of a laptop by ATF  Ordinateur Eau Claire Bangangté 

A huge thank you to the entire ATF Group team for their loyal support to the young people of the Serge Betsen Academy! Our computing lessons are always very popular in our centres as you can see below.

 

Translation: Katy Birge-Wilson

Fundraising: The International School of Toulouse supports the Serge Betsen Academy

The entire Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) would like to thank the management of the International School of Toulouse, its students from classes ranging from Early Years (maternelle) to G5 (CM2) and their families for their support.

Their end of school year cross-country racing which took place on Monday 21 June was an opportunity to collect rugby balls and raise £172 (201€) for the SBA. The balls will be recycled into bags and pouches of all kinds by our partner, Recycling Rugby. As for the sum of £172, it will fund after-rugby-training snacks for all our centres in Cameroon and Mali for the two summer months.

The management’s choice went to the SBA for two major reasons. As part of a sports week, the school wanted to support an association which had links to sports, and as you know, we love rugby. Moreover, as the school is engaged in an eco-citizen project, the management wanted to make the children aware of the many ways of recycling – in this case the recycling of sports equipment, through Recycling Rugby. We are delighted to have been the happy beneficiary of this united and green approach that we can but only applaud.

Thank you everyone!

And for those of you who wish to order a pencil case, a bag, a wallet, a purse, a toilet bag… made from recycled balls: just go to the Recycling Rugby Facebook page or the Recycling Rugby Instagram account pending the launch of the website which will arrive shortly.

Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson

Mali: Odile Prévot talks about SBA Mali on ORTM, Mali’s national television channel

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

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

 

Odile Prévot and the Doctor

Mali: TV5 Monde broadcasts on the launch of the education and health components of the SBA Mali

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.”

 

Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson

 

 

Event: We’ve received a donation of £3990.90 further to the SA2021 Preview Lunch!

During the SA2021 Preview Lunch aboard the Belmond British Pullman luxury train on 23rd June, RugbyUnites.com ran an online auction to raise vital funds for the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) and the South African Legends Food Program.
On 23rd June, guests of Victor Ubogu, former Bath and England rugby union player and Managing Director of VU Ltd gathered aboard this unique train to talk about the British and Irish Lions’ stories and also raise funds for good causes.
We want to thank everyone who bided in aid of our charity and the South African Rugby Legends food program to vulnerable communities in South Africa, or who have made a donation.
Between bids and donations, the beautiful sum of £3990.90 (4655,48 ) was allocated to the SBA and £2890.45 (3371,78 ) to the SA Rugby Legends, which is brilliant! We feel very grateful to all our donors and friends who are supporting our children in Cameroon and Mali. The 2020 year has been very difficult for our children and their families, and we have sadly not raised the money we were hoping to raise because of the crisis, so this sum will help us a lot.

Well done Victor Ubogu for putting all this together! It was a pleasure to collaborate with you and your team. And once again, many thanks for supporting our charity!

Proofreading : Katy Birge-Wilson

 

SA Preview Lunch aboard the train

Mali: Jean-Guy Monneret, the man with a big heart, and thanks to whom our daughters can study in a beautiful classroom!

We would like to warmly thank Jean-Guy Monneret and the entire ATC Mali team for the magnificent classroom which is now located on the grounds of AS REAL in Bamako.

Jean-Guy Monneret is the Managing Director and the Founder of the ATC Mali group specialising in large-scale metal construction (mining, boiler making / oil depots, irrigation, containers, transport / handling).  Based in Bamako for over 20 years and passionate about rugby, he is involved in several associations and rugby clubs locally.  He immediately agreed to become a partner of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) in Mali and took on responsibility for the manufacture of the container which is dedicated to become the school support room for our 25 young girls from Bamako.  He also decorated the interior of the room and donated the furniture.

Here are some photos of the work carried out.  The container was installed on the grounds of the stadium a few days before its inauguration, after a clearing and cleaning up of the ground with the help of Serge Betsen, “PC” and the rugby coaches.  It was not an easy task!

After-School tutoring room in construction Inside - After-School tutoring room in construction

Desk and bench for the girls Construction of the after-school tutoring room

Construction of the after-school tutoring room Inside of the after-school tutoring room

Serge close to the container Container

Inside of the after-school room Inside of the after-school room

The SBA girls, Mr. Mossa Ag Attacher, Serge Betsen, Odile Prévot in front of the new after-school room  The girls discovering their after-school tutoring room

 

Jean-Guy is a former rugby player who followed the career of Serge Betsen closely.  He was keen to become a partner of SBA Mali from the moment the SBA office presented its project to him during their study trip in January 2020.  Serge Betsen visited him during his stay in Bamako in June 2021 to thank him and give him a small gift.

Serge Betsen, Jean-Guy Monneret and his son Wet

A big thank you to Jean-Guy of ATC Mali, to Mr. Massez, the head metal carpenter, to Yaya and the whole team for their involvement and their work.  Without you, the education component of SBA Mali could not have been implemented!

PC, Jean-Guy Monneret

 

Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson