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Cameroon: The HHH of Douala organised a charity walk by in support of our children!

A charity walk took place on Sunday, October 23, at the Douala motocross terrain during which material donations were collected for our association.

The Douala HHH Committee organised this event and we would like to thank them for choosing the Serge Betsen Academy as their beneficiary association.

 

Around sixty walkers took part in this sports and family morning and we thank them all warmly for the donations they brought for our young people. On the partner side, we would like to thank ICRAFON who donated pens and supplies, the SABC Group for the drinks, ADC Mx Park who allowed access to the cross country field, and finally The HHH of Douala for their donation of hygiene products and the organisation of this beautiful event, with the help of Hubert Gonella as point of contact.

Vanelle, a former member of the SBA from the class of 2009 and who now works in Hubert Gonella’s company was present to represent the association; together with Baudouin, a former member of the Bangangté centre who is now a computer science teacher, and Djibril, the manager of the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté. Djibril held a stand about the association and presented the work of Philippe, our deaf and mute protégé who creates decorative objects in pearls and bamboo furniture in the workshop intended for him at the centre.

 

The generous donations, the majority of which were school supplies, hygiene products and clothes, were shared between our centres of Bangangté (Eau Claire) and Bafia.

The distributions have already taken place, and it was a joyful moment for all the children who want to say a massive thank you to the donors. Our team of young rugby players from Bangangté have not been forgotten either, they received soaps in order to be able to wash their sport equipment; they also convey their thanks to the donors.

 

 

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

Support: The Serge Betsen Academy: winner of the Academies Program, instigated by the French Development Agency

It is an absolute honour for our association to be named as one of the winners of the Academies Program instigated by the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement – AFD) and led by the duo PLAY International – Groupe SOS and the Diambars Institute. It warms our hearts to know that the actions that we have carried out in Cameroon for 18 years and in Mali of for 2 years gets this recognition and this exceptional support is a real gift allowing us to strengthen our positive impact on the lives of our children. Indeed, the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) will receive funding of up to 250,000 Euros (about £214 000) and support over 3 years as part of this program, which will allow us to strengthen our mission, consolidate our action and our projects to improve access to education, gender equality, health and rugby.

This program to strengthen sports and inclusive academies in Africa was officially launched on November 4, 2022 at the Diambars Institute in Saly, Senegal during an official ceremony in the presence of Jérôme Teiletche, Secretary General of the SBA and several important figures whether from the world of politics or of sports. This program, which is the implementation of President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement at the New Africa-France Summit on October 8, 2021, aims to support the emergence of inclusive sports academies on the continent. Four academies present in six African countries are benefiting from support within the framework of this pilot phase: SEED Project, LEAD Edu, Sunward Park High School and the SBA

At the end of this pilot phase, a call for projects will be launched in 2023 in order to support twelve additional academies throughout the African continent.

For more information on the program, please read this article.

 

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

 

 

Event: Thanks to Ovalies UniLaSalle for their support of 16,666€!

The Serge Betsen Academy would like to convey a massive thank you to Ovalies UniLaSalle and all its partners for all the support! This 50,000€ check to be shared with two other great associations, “Une ballade pour Justine et Lou” and “L’Arche à Beauvais ” will change many lives!

 

Remise du chèque des Ovalies UniLaSalle 2022 !

 

Our President Serge Betsen was delighted to participate in the Ovalies adventure this year and to represent the association on 6 and 7 May in Beauvais, these are his words:

 

“It is always a real pleasure to participate in a rugby event and watch brilliant students practicing my sport! Congratulations to all the participants of the Ovalies UniLaSalle and the PURPAN School of Engineers (VII female and XV male), LéoRugby (VII male), VetAgro Sup (Pompom) for their respective wins.

It is wonderful to see young people participating in this project which combines sport, solidarity and sharing by helping associations such as “Une ballade pour Justine et Lou”, “L’Arche à Beauvais ”, and the SBA.

A big thank you also to Dimitri Yachvili and Fanny Horta for their time and to all the curious people who came to our stand to find out more about our actions in Cameroon and Mali. It was a real pleasure for me, and Charles-Edouard whom I thank for his help, to meet you.

Many thanks too to the Ovalies team, Paul Vincant and Albane Tenneson for their warm welcome and support. Thanks to Coucou Hibou and Paul-Louis de Juglart for supporting the SBA through its collection of Olympia jerseys.

Congratulations to all for the success of this great charity tournament of students’ rugby.”

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

Mali : A fantastic donation from the legends at Hornets Women’s Rugby

The children of the Serge Betsen Academy in Mali received another fantastic donation thanks to our friend Dan W., this time from the legends at Hornets Women’s Rugby in the United Kingdom. There were rugby balls, divers rugby equipment, water bottles and jerseys! Regarding the rugby equipment, they will be very useful during our sessions, and the adult jerseys have been offered to our coaches.
Everything was gratefully received particularly by the girls who were inspired to receive kit from an English ladies team. Massive thank you to Lindsay Pilgrim and Rachel Allchurch for pulling it together. It will make a real difference to our girls.
It is always a great pleasure for our coaches to be helped by Dan W during the sessions. We want to thank him deeply for his presence and his help to meet the needs of the centre and his efforts to encourage donations from rugby clubs in his home country.
Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cameroon and Mali: Back to school and well equipped to do so!

“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

Donation: The SBA Mali thanks Fairford RFC for its support

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.”

 

Partnership: Bistrot Régent is now supporting our charity

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!

Event: Auction Sale in Clichy in support of the Serge Betsen Academy!

Our President, Serge Betsen has kept very strong ties with the city of Clichy-la-Garenne, where it all started for him. Serge Betsen made his rugby debut at CS CLICHY and when he returns there it is always with a lot of emotion.

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 (vincastolfi@gmail.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.

Translation: Katy Birgé-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

Donation : Thank you to the Grange Primary School in Ealing for your support!

A big thank you to the Year 5 team and parents of students of the Grange Primary School in Ealing for donating £802,85 to our charity.

We also want to thank the Year 5 students of the school for being involved in this fundraiser. It is so nice to see UK students being actively working on this fundraising project devoted to underprivileged children in Cameroon and Mali. Your efforts enable us to give our children a better access to education, health and rugby.

This collection was made possible thanks to Jane Morato, our SBA ambassador and her Year 5 colleagues. We would like to thank them very much for their ongoing support to our charity.

Jane plans to spread the words about our actions within different schools in London. Raising awareness about the difficulties that our children are facing on a daily basis is crucial to make things change.

 

Grange Primary School

Grange Primary School