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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: It’s back to school for the 2020-2021 school year!

Due to the health crisis, the school calendar has been severely disrupted in Cameroon. So it was only on Monday 05 October 2020 that our children and their classmates were able to return to school. We wish them a good start to the school year and are determined to give them all the support they need to make this new year a success.

Thanks to the generosity of our partners and donors, our children were able to return to school well equipped. Distributions were carried out with joy in all the centres at the start of the school year. Often, on these occasions, small parties around a snack were organised. At the Eau Claire centre of Bangangté 125 children were happy to receive their treasures and to share a good meal together. At the Zoétélé centre, a ceremony was even organised by Abaa in the presence of the second degree village chief and a few parents, in order to distribute the school supplies and to provide scholarships to support education.

Distribution at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté Distribution at the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté

ceremony distribution in Zoetele ceremony distribution in Zoetele

Distribution school supply and school bags in Bafia  Distribution school supply and school bags in Bafia

Distribution at the Jardin Eden centre Distribution at the Jardin Eden centre Distribution at the Jardin Eden centre

All the children at the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA), whether young or old, now proudly carry a well-stocked backpack.  These pretty “Victor bags” named after our donor Victor Obadia were made by Clarisse, a seamstress from Yaoundé, close to the SBA.

Victor school bags

It is notably thanks to the BIC group, to Mr. Arnopoulos of the ARNO group, to Icrafon following the efforts of Victor Roussel, Secretary of DROP (Doualla Rugby Old Papy’s) and to the other generous donors of the Ulule campaign created by a team of students at IPAG Business School, that our children have the necessary school supplies for the school year and that our centres are equipped with books and supplies.

Icrafon Victor Icrafon Victor

The BIC group gave us 1200 pens of each colour (blue, green, red and black) as well as a few boxes of pencils and felt pens which were distributed to our various centres. And to complete this collection, we were able to purchase other supplies useful to the centres thanks to the voucher of 120,000 FCFA (= 183 euros) that Mr Arnopoulos donated, as he did the previous year.

BIC donation BIC donation

For our rugby training, we were able to renew our stock of equipment thanks to the generosity of our donors in France and in particular to Hubert and Christophe. Hubert sent boxes containing 41 jerseys and 24 shorts for our rugby players as well as children’s clothing and toys.

Rugby equipment from Hubert Rugby equipment from Hubert

As for Christophe, he took care of transporting other boxes of rugby equipment to Yaoundé.  These were packages filled with sports’ vests, rugby polo shirts but also books that Christophe left in Etoudi. He arrived during a rugby training session so that our players and Moise had the joy of meeting him and thanking him in person.

Christophe and the rugbbymen of Etoudi Christophe and the rugbbymen of Etoudi

As for our infirmaries, we also stocked up on Laborex medicines and paramedical products offered by the DROP. In September, Victor, DROP’s Secretary came to train with our Bangangté rugby team. On this occasion, he handed over the school supplies offered by Icrafon as well as the Laborex medicines offered directly by DROP. Victor went to great lengths to enable us to receive these donations and we thank him very much.

Donation of medicines from the DROP

A huge thank you to all the donors for allowing our children to return to school well equipped!

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

 

Partnership: Our Rugby project for Kids has received a “Sport & Development” grant!

It is with great pride and joy that we can announce that our project “Rugby for Kids (girls and boys)” is one of the winners of, and as such has been awarded funding by, Sport & Développement (Sport & Development), a programme of the ONG La Guilde (The European Guild), supported by AFD – Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency).

At the Jardin Eden centre, the end of 2019 saw the budding start of an initiation to rugby carried out by Moise our coach at Etoudi and this try was successfully converted. This programme will be able to take on a new dimension thanks to this “Sport & Development” grant of 20,000 € ($ 22,680). 50 kids will indeed be able to discover rugby, respect, team spirit, healthy competition, avoid the “girls-boys” stereotypes and benefit from a structured education and medical care. We are so happy for these children and their families who, thanks to this programme, will have an easier daily life and a better future.

This programme will be set up in the Jardin Eden centre of Yaoundé and the centre of Zoétélé starting from August 2020. It will benefit 26 girls and 24 boys, aged from 2 to 13, from deprived families. They have hoped to play rugby for so many years, watching their big brothers and sisters of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) and their dream will come true sooner than expected!

The  kids will play rugby once a week, in a way designed as a safe awakening activity and will discover the fundamentals of this sport and its values. They will benefit very early on from a structured education on the rugby field but also on the benches of our centres during after school tutoring classes. They will be able to participate in these classes every afternoon from Monday to Friday at the Jardin Eden centre and on Saturdays and Sundays at the Zoétélé centre, throughout the whole year.

They will also have access to basic health care. They will go through an initial medical check-up, organised in August 2020, and then will carry on having medical monitoring throughout the project. In addition, on training days the children will enjoy a snack and will be taught hygiene rules.

We would warmly like to thank the ONG La Guilde (The European Guild) and AFD – Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency) for their support and their trust, as well as Michèle Quenardel, our volunteer for all the help given to our team in responding to the call for projects.

We can’t wait to get the little ones from the SBA playing! Do not forget to follow the set-up of the #Rugby4Kids project on our social networks, because this project will make happy players and maybe we’ll see the emergence of mini Serge Betsens!

Translation by Katy Birgé-Wilson