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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.”

 

Mali: SBA Mali organised a rugby event with other rugby clubs from Bamako!

Early February, the Serge Betsen Academy Mali (SBA Mali) organised and hosted a rugby event for the great pleasure of our children!

Around 160 children from the Bamako schools together with young people from surrounding clubs came to play, including USFAS, EDO, HIPPOS and of course SBA Mali. The U8, U10, U12 and U14 categories were represented. Mandjou, Kady, Tidjane and Sory, the coaches of SBA Mali provided the coaching.

The younger children met with lots of others and played many games related to rugby. As for the 35 older players, they participated in a XV’s rugby match.

Personalities from the world of rugby made the trip there and took the time to visit the centre: Mr Ali Y. Diarra, former technical director of the Malian Rugby Federation, who is now based in France as well as the new president of the Malian Federation of rugby, Me Yéhiya Touré.

It was a great rugby day and the SBA defended itself well against the other teams. The girls did especially well! At the end of the day, all the children got together to enjoy a good snack and they even danced a few steps to celebrate this time spent together.

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

 

 

 

Bangui: A great second mission to the Central African Republic!

Having barely returned to Cameroon, Idriss Tcheumkeu Ketcha left on June 1 for his second mission to the Central African Republic as part of the TRAUMA Project. This project, funded by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre is carried out by the Institut Francophone pour la Justice et la Démocratie – Institut Louis Joinet (IFJD) (Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Louis Joinet Institute) and implemented by the Serge Betsen Academy in partnership with Ovale Citoyen and the Central African Rugby Federation. The main objective of the second mission was to assess the progress and achievements one month after the first mission.

 

  
Photos © IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet 2022

 

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

Translation: Birgé-Wilson

Cameroon: A visit that our children will never forget, that of Serge Betsen!

The children of the Serge Betsen Academy were overjoyed to welcome Serge Betsen and Sylvie Ledard, our Project Manager, to Cameroon in June 2022. Serge and Sylvie stayed on site for about ten days in order to go round the various centres, spending time with the children and the volunteers, distributing numerous donations, discussing in depth with the managers about the current projects and going to meet our partners to thank them and also to make new contacts. A moving reunion and beautiful moments shared!

 

Visit of the centre of Bafia

Christophe, our volunteer, was also on the trip to take pictures and lend a hand, together with Romain Magellan, a former rugby player with an incomparable sense of humour, who assisted the coaches on the playing ground and entertained our children during various rugby training. We thank them both from the bottom of our hearts!
A few days after his return, Serge wrote: “A stay at and with the Serge Betsen Academy is always unforgettable! Thank you to all the children of SBA Cameroon for your warm welcome, to the volunteers of the many sites for your dedication, to the firms that welcomed us, to the donors and partners for following us.” Many projects were worked on during Serge’s stay; you can visit our social networks to follow in detail the progress of: the “SBA Pads project” (production and distribution of washable sanitary towels), the “Victor” bags which will be distributed before the start of the school year, the “Rugby4Kids” project, the SBA Coop, the implementation of intensive computer courses, etc.

Rugby session at the Eau Claire centre

All the children of SBA Cameroon and the coaches on site would like to thank Romain Magellan, Sylvie Ledard, Christophe and Serge Betsen for the extraordinary moments spent together in recent weeks. The equipment provided by our donors is very valuable to us to continue our activities: computers, rugby equipment, sportswear, toys, etc. Many thanks to our donors and partners for their generosity, as well as to the people that we were able to meet, such as Eric Niat, the mayor of Bangangté.

Eric Niat, Mayor of Bangangté and Serge Betsen wearing a T-Shirt of the Serge Betsen X IZBAC collection, in front of the City Hall

Some of the children met “Tonton Serge” for the very first time and will be marked for life by this long-awaited encounter. As for Sylvie, it was with great emotion that she met the children and the volunteers with whom she has spent long periods of time on the phone since taking up her post as Project Manager in February 2022.

 

What happiness in this month of June at the SBA!

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

Bangui: Signing of the agreement between the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy – Institut Louis Joinet and the Serge Betsen Academy

It was an honour for our President Serge Betsen to be greeted by Laurence Fischer, Ambassador for Sport at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEFA) on Friday 20 May 2022 to sign the agreement between the “Institut Francophone pour la Justice et la Démocratie (IFJD) – Institut Louis Joinet” and the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA).

 

At the SBA, we are proud to participate in the “TRAUMA Project” funded by the “Centre de crise et de soutien du ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères français” and therefore enable young people who have experienced conflicts in their lives to be introduced to touch-rugby in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2022. It is a pleasure to collaborate with the IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet, Ovale Citoyen and the Central African Rugby Federation.

 

Photo ©IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet 2022

 

Here is a presentation of the TRAUMA Project by the IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet:

“The main objective is to understand and take into account, among children and teenagers, post-conflict trauma in the Central African Republic. In CAR, the notions of “trauma” and “resilience” are frequently used, while the need for clinical psychologists is frequently highlighted. Considering that the young people are the future of the Central African Republic, particular attention must be paid to children and teenagers who grow up, from an early age, in a violent and conflictual atmosphere. This is why the Trauma project is dedicated to them!

  • Understand and assess

Understand the specificities of the traumas generated by the crises in the Central African Republic and assess their impact on children and teenagers.

  • Promote appropriate care

Contribute to ensuring that professionals from the mechanisms of the penal chain on the one hand and of non-judicial mechanisms of Transitional Justice on the other hand support children and teenagers by limiting the risks of re-traumatisation.

  • Improve resilience

Contribute to children and teenagers reclaiming a framework and a living-together.”

As part of the TRAUMA Project, three undertakings around the practice of touch-rugby are planned for 2022. The Serge Betsen Academy will supervise 10 groups of 20 children, i.e. 200 children in three different levels groups: 6-8 years old, 9-11 years old and 12-14 years old. Ovale Citoyen will supervise 15 groups of 20 teenagers, i.e. 300 teenagers, also in three groups. 500 children and teenagers will thus benefit from the rugby activity.

To learn more about the TRAUMA project, please read this brochure.

A huge thank you to the IFJD – Institut Louis Joinet for the trust you place in us in carrying out this mission.

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

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

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

Mali: The SBA Mali is expanding and deploying its education and health components!

Since October 2020, the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) has opened a branch in Mali and rugby training takes place every weekend at the AS REAL stadium in Bamako. Following the model of the SBA in Cameroon, which has proven itself for the last 17 years, the SBA Mali uses rugby as a vector of social integration and adds the two missing strings to its bow: the education component and the health component. While the inauguration of the school support classroom dedicated to young girls will take place on Sunday 20 June in the presence of Serge Betsen and Odile Prévot, classes will actually begin early July. The centre’s medical dispensary will also be open this August thanks to the presence of a renowned young volunteer doctor. The implementation of this winning model based on the three components is therefore imminent in Mali!

Among the 90 rugby players, 25 young girls from very disadvantaged backgrounds aged from 8 to 13 were selected to benefit from tutoring courses.  A classroom was needed on the premises of the stadium and a solution was under study.  And it was Jean-Guy Monneret, Managing Director and Founder of the ATC Mali group, who agreed to manufacture at his own expense a container dedicated to accommodate a classroom.  We sincerely thank him and his entire team. A few days ago, the rugby players of SBA Mali and Serge Betsen cleared out and cleaned up the grounds in order to install the container in the location indicated by Mr. Sow. Desks, benches, shelves and a blackboard were kindly donated by Jean-Guy Monneret.

Intérieur terminé du container Intérieur terminé du container

Serge à côté du container

By supporting these young girls, the SBA wishes to fight against dropping out of school, forced marriage and teenage pregnancies which are rampant in Mali. The principle of equality between girls and boys is indeed at the heart of the principles of the SBA, and education is the best key to fostering the empowerment of girls.

On Sunday 20 June at 11 am, the Serge Betsen Academy will be delighted to inaugurate the tutoring room.  For this occasion, the association’s board specially made the trip to Mali.  Serge Betsen, Odile Prévot, the children, the rugby coaches, Mandjou et Yaya, will greet the guests, among whom will be official authorities.  Mory Touré, loyal to the SBA Mali from its very beginnings will be there as MC and Boubou Sangho, Founder and CEO of Boubou Lait will take the floor to announce his wish to follow the young people closely, as a mentor. A visit to the container and rugby matches are of course scheduled for the day. It will be announced that the girls will start their classes on 5 July and will then be expected every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A new life begins for them!

As for the health component of the SBA Mali, it is developing faster than was expected, thanks to a meeting with Dr Safiatou Samassa, an obstetrician gynaecologist at the University Hospital of Bamako. She has volunteered to take care of the SBA Mali medical clinic.  She will be present from 6 August at the centre every Saturday to provide medical check-ups and care to the children of SBA Mali and also their parents. Her presence will also allow for talks with the girls on the taboos surrounding the status of women in the country and the management of menstrual hygiene, with a view to the upcoming launch of the SBA Pads project for the production and distribution of washable sanitary napkins.

The SBA is now deploying its winning triptych, education – health – rugby in Mali, thanks to the support of official authorities, generous partners and donors who all believe in this project.  Reaching out to childhood is the goal of the association and success seems to be at the end of the road!

As part of its stay in Mali, the association’s board took the time to discuss in depth with the children and their mothers, took stock of progress, launched new projects and had the honour of meeting political figures, local authorities and various journalists whom we wish to thank. Nicolas Réméné, our documentary photographer, was present during the 16 June rugby training session to capture these unique moments.

We are pleased to post a few of his gorgeous shots below.

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

Photo SBA Bamako - crédit : Nicolas Réméné

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