“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
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.”
All good things come in threes! It was on July 24, and not a day later, that the coaches of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) Cameroon had the pleasure of heading for Bangui in the Central African Republic as part of the TRAUMA Project. This project, whose funding organisation is the Crisis and Support Centre of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is led by the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Institut Louis Joinet (IFJD) and implemented and carried out by the Serge Betsen Academy in partnership with the Central African Rugby Federation. Idriss Tcheumkeu Ketcha was, on this occasion, accompanied by Loïc Zeutsop Kenfack, another experienced coach from the association. Always driven by the initial objectives of the TRAUMA Project, namely the reconciliation of the Central African people through the values conveyed by rugby, our coaches had the following objectives during this third mission in Bangui:
- Continue to verify the achievements of local coaches since the 2nd mission while continuing their training on ever more technical subjects.
- Organise a week of inter-establishment matches in order to test the feasibility of the major final tournament scheduled for November 2022 in the Barthélemy Boganda sports complex, which can accommodate 20,000 people.
Idriss Tcheumkeu Ketcha, head of the technical committee and Loïc Zeutsop Kenfack, head of the refereeing committee wanted to benefit from more time on site to better prepare coaches and players. So they stayed there for a month. The sequence of inter-establishment matches took place after the departure of the coaches of SBA Cameroon. This requirement which characterises the coaches of the Serge Betsen Academy coupled with the formidable work of the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Institut Louis Joinet (IFJD) which is the project leader and our partner, the Central African Rugby Federation have allowed the children to participate in these very successful matches. Indeed, the eleven primary, secondary and higher education establishments involved were able to take part in these matches, which all took place in a warm atmosphere. In addition to the quality of the game and the investment of all, this week allowed the implementation of the values of rugby. No incident and no conflict were to be deplored. There were smiles galore, even for the losers who will be able to take their revenge on the pitch in November!
Photos © IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet
After an intense month of tuition, organisation and rugby training, the coaches of the Serge Betsen Academy returned to Cameroon at the end of August with the feeling of accomplishment to enjoy some well-deserved rest.
Thank you to the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Institut Louis Joinet (IFJD) for the trust placed in our association within the framework of this Project.
Article écrit par Nathan Barbier
Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson
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
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!
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 (email@example.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.
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
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.
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 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:
- Holding the ball at shoulder height
- Moving the ball around the hips
- Ball between the legs
- 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”!
Here are also some photos ©IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet 2022 taken during the first mission:
Report written by Nathan Barbier
Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson
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 so grateful to our sponsors and partners for making this event possible. Thank you to:
Please find here the photos of the event by TELLING PHOTOGRAPHY.
See you next year for another edition!
Follow us on Facebook
No images available at the momentFollow us! - Suivez-nous!