As young people mature, the decisions they make have an enormous impact on their families, their communities and our world. But growing up surrounded by poverty, war or in the aftermath of disaster increases their risks and limits their choices.
That's why giving children and youth the right support at this most critical time is essential to building tomorrow’s strong, productive communities.
When disaster strikes, young children are especially vulnerable to developing emotional and social problems that can jeopardize their futures. Mercy Corps worked with experts to design our signature Comfort for Kids program that helps children process their trauma and recover through play, sports and art activities. See our expert's recommendations for how parents and caregivers can help children through times of crisis ▸
For adolescents faced with violence, early marriage and interruptions to schooling, we provide opportunities for community involvement, vocational training and life skills development. Our goal is to empower youth in the toughest places to make smart life choices and invest their energy in developing solutions to their countries’ biggest challenges.
All stories about Children & Youth
Iraq, Pakistan: With confidence comes change
In low-income communities in Iraq and Pakistan, one youth program is helping adolescents build the confidence they need to achieve their goals.
Jordan, Syria: From refugee to role model
Sami hated life in the refugee camp when he arrived. Now, two years later, he’s helping other young people shift their perspective and dream for the future.
Jordan, Syria: After despair: Sami's story
Two years ago, Sami felt alone and trapped in his new life at Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp. Now, he's turned his experience around and is helping others as a volunteer for one of Mercy Corps' youth centers.
A new path to counter youth violence
Young people are not driven to conflict simply because they are unemployed. Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer discusses what our new research means for international efforts to address the rise of violent extremism.
Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia: In the news: Research on youth violence opens eyes to injustices that must be addressed
Vice News and CNN report on our new study offering insights and recommendations to keep an overlooked generation of young people from radical extremism.
Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia: Report: What drives youth to violence?
Getting youth development right has never been more pressing. But what underlying grievances must the global community address in order to keep this overlooked generation from violence? Our research in Afghanistan, Colombia and Somalia provides new insights and recommendations.
Jordan, Syria: The promise of education brings Syrian and Jordanian girls together
Until recently, Zaatari Village's girls' school was overcrowded and tensions were high. Community leaders worked together to change things for the better.
Niger: What's a mother to do?
“There is no greater benefit than learning how to take care of our babies’ nutrition and health.” See how Nana Balki is bringing change to the mothers in her village.
Lebanon, Syria: In crowded Lebanon, Syrian refugees are forced to shelter in unlikely places
Lebanon is the smallest country crowded with the largest number of Syrian refugees. We're helping families prepare for winter in the abandoned buildings they've found to call home.
Niger: Badariya's story
Badariya wants nothing more than to go to school, but must stay home to tend to chores. What does her future hold? Hear how Mercy Corps is helping her find her voice.