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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.

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.

It is 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 other generous donors that our children have the necessary school supplies for the school year and that our centres are equipped with books and supplies.

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.

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.

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.

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

 

Cameroon : Trip in April 2015

 

Pictures : here !!!

On April 18th Serge Betsen, Lionel Quenardel a SBA volunteer who is a professor of EPS at Diderot Massy, and Jenna our SBA project leader arrived in Cameroon.  Serge and Lionel stayed one week, while Jenna stayed for over a month to assist the Cameroon SBA directors.

Upon our arrival the centre L’eau Claire, we were greeted by the Bangangté rugby team, Djibril who is the centre’s director, and Elisabeth the SBA’s president in Cameroon.

We were pleasantly surprised as we were greeted with the local Haka in Medumba, the local language, which was performed by the rugby players!  The originality of this Haka had its charm, but also instilled some fear from the performers!

 

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Cameroon: Lionel, our ambassador visits the centres

Lionel Quenardel, volunteer in the association for several years, came back from a week in Cameroon after visiting the centers of the SBA with his girlfriend and a friend.

Flaskback on his journey.

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Zoétélé: Volunteers from V2R renovate the centre

For some of us, this year was our third visit to Cameroon, for some others it was the fifth one.

This time we went to Zoétélé to renovate the rugby centre of SBA. Everything went well, the building was not in such a bad state but it needed to be refreshed. Some children of the centre even helped us. We were really moved by their welcome with their dances and songs; they taught us how to dance!

Leaving the village was a really emotional moment, as we had to say goodbye to the children after they thanked us for the work we did through traditional dances, songs and a short play. They came to our hotel to wish us a nice trip back to France; we took some pictures together. Like every year it was moving to leave these children we got attached to so quickly.

Of course we would love to go back to Cameroon in the future because it’s an intense trip that makes us grow and that increases our awareness of many things. We have the chance to support children who needs help, to meet new people, to see a new culture… We will also always remember the tournament and rugby training in Zoétélé school, because it is great to see children being so much involved in this sport, whereas they live in a football country and in such difficult environment…Congratulations!”

The youth of Perpignan