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

Event: A recognition from The French Development Agency at the New Africa-France Summit

The Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) had the honor of attending the New Africa-France 2021 Summit on Friday further to an invitation from the French government (Elysée) and The French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement).

This recognition at the highest level is the result of several months of work, and of a success story in Cameroon for 17 years and in Mali for almost 2 years. The support of The French Development Agency offers an exceptional support to the Serge Betsen Academy in terms of growth and to the well-being of girls and boys in Cameroon and Mali.

The children of the SBA, Odile Prévot, CEO of the charity and all the other volunteers join Serge Betsen, Founding President of the Serge Betsen Academy and Sébastien Lovy, Treasurer of the  charity who both had the privilege of speaking at the New Africa-France Summit, in thanking French President Emmanuel Macron, The French Development Agency and Sport en Commun for their support and investment.

 

Le Président Emmanuel Macron et Serge Betsen

Serge Betsen, Sébastien Lovy et Didier RetièreOdile et les enfants de la SBA

 

Mali: Donated rugby gear safely arrived in Mali thanks to HAE Group

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.

A huge thank you to Jamie Forrester of Opus Recruitment Solutions for his beautiful donation of 162 pairs of rugby boots.

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.

 

Donation HAE Group to SBA Mali

The 162 pairs of rugby boots transported by HAE Group

The 162 pairs of rugby boots transported by HAE Group

 

The donation of 106 pair of sliders by Slide Tribe

The donation of 106 pair of sliders by Slide Tribe

 

Donation HAE Group to SBA Mali

Donation HAE Group to SBA Mali

 

The SBA Mali children trying their new rugby boots

The SBA Mali children trying their new rugby boots donated by Jamie Forrester

Children trying their new rugby boots

The Sliders safely arrived in Bamako

Maryland Exiles Youth Rugby wishes much success to all of the student athletes at the Serge Betsen Academy

The young players of the Maryland Exiles Youth Rugby who have collected rugby gear for our children

 

 

 

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