Centres founded by former French rugby union international Serge Betsen are teaching children in his native Cameroon how to play the sport, but also giving them a chance to advance towards a brighter future.
Students enrolled in the Serge Betsen Academy are learning the value of teamwork and cooperation as they acquire the skills of a game that remains largely unknown in a country where football is king.
They also enjoy help with schoolwork and free meals. “[Betsen] left Cameroon when he was young and then he came back for a while. He wanted to help all these children have good living conditions,” Genevieve Mgamy, the Academy’s coordinator, told FRANCE 24.
The Academy has set up five centres across Cameroon since 2004, with a new one set to open in April, with Betsen himself expected to attend the inauguration.