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
Central African Republic: Play therapy for children displaced by LRA violence
New groups are helping more kids heal from the terror wrought by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.
Comforting kids around the world
In the aftermath of natural disasters and wars, children need help to make sense of what's happened. Our emergency-response teams lay the groundwork for emotional recovery in children by using two programs:
Jordan, Syria: Helping young refugees play
Just six miles south of the Jordan-Syria border, in the middle of a barren, windswept desert, there’s a haven of safety for more than 20,000 Syrians who have fled their homes in recent months.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Syria's refugee tide: Children at the heart of our mission
Children especially are swelling the refugee ranks. It is a scenario I have witnessed over many years in the Middle East, Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and other war zones.
Lebanon, Syria: Making progress to comfort more Syrian kids
Yesterday held some big developments for Mercy Corps' new efforts to support Syrian refugees flooding into Lebanon.
South Sudan: Fighting for an education
Ten-year-old Zenaib is excited to begin attending class in one of the temporary learning spaces that Mercy Corps is currently constructing.
Kenya: Using sports to ignite global youth potential
After being shot in the chest with an arrow, David was forced to wait nearly two weeks for treatment. Lack of medical resources wasn't the problem — even though an ambulance took David almost immediately to the hospital, members of an opposing tribe refused to operate on him.
Yemen: Protecting children in the crossfire
Seven-year-old Hadiel looked forward to starting first grade last year at Nusaybah school, in the heart of Yemen’s capital of Sana’a. But the presence of heavily armed soldiers and certainty of violence kept her home.
South Sudan: Creating safe spaces for learning
After decades of war, residents of Unity state dreamed of brighter futures last July when they became citizens of the new nation of South Sudan.
Lebanon, Syria: Syrians take refuge in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley
In the two days visiting recently arrived Syrians, most of the refugees I encountered were children, who've been uprooted from the only life they've every known. Here's what I saw and heard from them.