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
Afghanistan: Students welcome visit from British government official
The normal school day at our vocational training center in rural Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan was recently shaken up — but students were eager to discuss the changes education has brought to their lives.
South Sudan: Building on hope one year after independence
South Sudan Country Director Mathieu Rouquette met these two little girls in the market in Bentiu, Unity State, when they peeked their heads into a camera shop that recently received a Mercy Corps business grant.
Yemen: Hadeel's journey from student to staff
Hadeel’s story is one of new beginnings. Born and raised in Aden, a major city on Yemen’s southeast coast, Hadeel was previously a professional volleyball player. He was even chosen for Yemen’s national team. But a few years ago, a tragic accident forced him to reconsider his career.
Colombia: The war on child soldier recruitment begins at school
Last month was especially busy as I organized field visits to our child soldier prevention and reintegration program.
Afghanistan: Fathers and sons learn a trade together
Multiple generations are learning new job skills like carpentry in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where decades of conflict have limited opportunities to earn an income.
Niger: Children suffer most in hunger crisis
Lauretta dreams of becoming a teacher. But she hasn’t been to school since January, when she had to drop out in order to help her family at home.
Nepal: Teaching kids to prepare for floods
Young students at a school in flood-prone western Nepal learn how to stay safe in the event of disaster.
Haiti: Tuning into youth
We may not be the Sesame Street Workshop, but here in Haiti, the Mercy Corps team has been busy producing a locally-made educational television program for kids.
Haiti: Youth celebrate Soccer for Life
A few kids take it easy during Mercy Corps' Foutbol pou Lavi ("Soccer for Life") activities, which started last December.
Afghanistan: New graduates yield unexpected returns
The latest group of students to graduate from our vocational training program in southern Afghanistan — more than 3,600 of them — show that real success is giving young people hope.