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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

 

Cameroon: Making the most of computer donations!

The entire Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) would like to thank our two partners, the ATF Group – Bis Repetita and BRED Banque Populaire for the 6 computers that were recently donated by them.

Another refurbished laptop offered by our loyal partner, the ATF – Bis Repetita Group is used by Sylvie Ledard, our Project Manager for her trips to Cameroon and Mali.

 

As for the 5 other computers donated by the BRED Banque Populaire at the initiative of the Regional Management of Rouen and Rachid Achouri, they were transported by Serge Betsen and Sylvie to Cameroon during their June trip. Three computers were donated to the Bafia centre and two others to the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté to complete the computer rooms.

 

Distribution in the centre of Bafia:

 

Distribution at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté:

The children are already making good use of them. We may even see computer scientists in the class of 2022!

During the summer, the centres are reorganised: some focus on specific activities and refresher courses. Baudouin, a former member of the SBA, leads intensive computer courses at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté for our young people and for mothers from our agricultural cooperative, the SBA Coop.

 

During the summer, from July 8, he gives six hours of computer lessons, three times a week. He also installed a large projector screen and an overhead projector to ensure that his training is given in the best conditions.

 

 

 

This intensive training was set up at the request of our young people and our mothers. So again: A big thank you to our partners and donors for allowing us to meet the needs of young people and mothers and to turn them into true professionals. You can watch an overview of the first training sessions below.

 

 

Translation : Katy 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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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: “Serge Betsen Academy inter-centre rugby tournament – Societe Generale Cameroun”, third edition.

We are delighted to announce that the third edition of the “Tournoi de rugby inter-centres Serge Betsen academy Société Générale Cameroun” (Serge Betsen Academy – Societe Generale Cameroon inter-centre rugby tournament) will take place on Saturday 30 October in Bangangté, Cameroon.

Due to the pandemic, this tournament initially planned for 2020 had to be postponed, thus leaving more time for the Etoudi, Zoétélé and Bangangté teams to get game-ready. The shield, which has been held by Etoudi since 2018, will be put back into play, and the teams just can’t wait!

This year, we are honoured to have Société Générale Cameroun by our side as the Title Sponsor of the Tournament. We would like to warmly thank them for their generous support.

Three companies and one association have also agreed to sponsor us for this tournament which is very close to the heart of our young rugby players: : Groupe SABC whom we thank for their drinks during the Tournament, Cameroon Motors Industries (CAMI)AXA Cameroun whom we thank for the food during the Tournament and Recycling Rugby, the French operation which recycles rugby balls into bags, purses…  It is a pleasure to see the enthusiasm of companies, established for many years on the red soil, for rugby and our actions in favour of underprivileged children.

A big thank you to our five Sponsors for their support without which this edition could not have been organised.

We therefore give you an appointment on Saturday 30 October to support our rugby players at the Lycée Classique of Bangangté stadium or online, on our social networks!

 

Translation: Katy Birge-Wilson

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: 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

Cameroon: Our rugby project for kids is gaining momentum!

50 toddlers (26 girls and 24 boys) from the Jardin Eden centre in Yaoundé and the Zoétélé centre, now play rugby in a well-equipped and safe environment. They are all insured and proudly wear the chasubles and belts created by Herode, a local seamstress. They use the official Touch Rugby game belts and tags. Their coaches also benefit from abundant equipment, provided by the equipment manufacturer, CitySport run by Pierre Ndébi, allowing them to vary the exercises and to introduce their students to the fundamentals of rugby.

 

Rugby for Kids training  Rugby for Kids training

Rugby for Kids training  

   

 

Through this program, all these children, whose families have great financial difficulties, play rugby on a weekly basis, discover its structure and its values, and are able to share a snack together. By following this program, they also have access to after-school tutoring and health checks in our centres.

It is thanks to Sport & Développement (French program of the NGO La Guilde, supported by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD)) that these 50 children from the Cameroonian SBA, aged between 2 and 13, that “Rugby for Kids” exists.

We warmly thank the NGO La Guilde and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) for their support and trust, as well as Herode for using her talents as a seamstress to make the outfits for our little champions and Mr. Pierre Ndébi from City Sport Cameroon.

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson