A SKIBBEREEN student has been selected from hundreds of youth volunteers across Ireland and recognised for her humanitarian work caring for abandoned animals in China.
Jessica Collins was honoured in the 2020 Pramerica Spirit of Community Virtual Awards Ceremony, held last month.
The awards recognise the country’s most outstanding youth volunteers, who work to make a positive impact on their local communities.
Jessica, a fourth-year student at Skibbereen Community School, is a passionate animal lover. She was given the opportunity to volunteer for five weeks in China at the Slaughterhouse Survivors, Harbin Animal Rescue, looking after ill and unwanted dogs and cats. As well as playing with the animals, Jessica worked in gruelling heat every day giving the dogs and cats water and their vaccines, shaving and bathing dogs that had matted hair, transporting dogs between rooms, as well as power-washing and cleaning the yard.
Over the course of her trip, and as one of the youngest volunteers, Jessica became an integral part of the animal rescue centre even mentoring some of the new volunteers.
She travelled to China on her own and she was determined to raise awareness of animal cruelty, when she returned home.
She has set up an animal cruelty project and will also travel back to China giving up her summer holiday in 2021 to work with the animals once again.