She doesn’t need medical supplies or donated food, just some deflated soccer balls and Canadian flags. When Mitchell (Ontario, Canada) resident Jessie Rupert heads to Liberia, Costa Rica later this month she will be working with at-risk youth.

Jessie Rupert is collecting craft materials, small sports equipment and Canadian souvenirs to take with her on a work placement in Costa Rica in February. Rupert will be working with at-risk youth in Liberia, Costa Rica, as a placement in her child and youth worker program.
Jessie Rupert is collecting craft materials, small sports equipment and Canadian souvenirs to take with her on a work placement in Costa Rica in February. Rupert will be working with at-risk youth in Liberia, Costa Rica, as a placement in her child and youth worker program.

It’s the 20-year-old’s final placement as part of her three-year Child and Youth Worker program at Fanshawe College.

A nurse and early child educator on Rupert’s three-person team will bring certain supplies, but those extras that help children create, play and learn more about the world are Rupert’s responsibility.

Rupert, the daughter of Alex and Pat, said materials for crafts are going to be important as she plans activities to do with the children.

She said her goals will be to teach the children general life skills and social skills as well as improve their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Rupert said many of the children in the Kindergarten to Grade 8 school she will visit are coping with poverty and abuse, including parents who are prostitutes or drug addicts.

Rupert’s first two placements as part of her program were at the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) in London and a London public school.

The trip to Costa Rica will be her first – she is one of five people going out of the 90 people in her program.

“I wanted to see what different kids grow up with,” she said about her reasons for choosing Costa Rica. “I always wanted to do missionary trips.”

Rupert is able to collect craft materials, sports items like deflated soccer balls and Canadian souvenirs like flags until Feb. 20. She stays in Costa Rica with her host family from Feb. 24 to March 22.

Source: The Mitchell Advocate