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
Georgia: Orphaned girl in Georgia August 29, 2011
I remember photographing her and her friends in an arts and crafts room at the orphanage. The whole place had a beautiful post-Soviet patina that is hard to find. It seemed as though the orphanage was built in the era of Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.
Somalia: Walking for weeks to reach Mogadishu's sprawling camps August 19, 2011
Zimbabwe: Vocational training helps youths find jobs in Zimbabwe August 18, 2011
Twenty-year-old Nyasha Zulu and 21-year-old Simbarashe Mudara have lived most of their lives in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, 30 kilometers from Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.
Egypt, Libya, West Bank and Gaza: Reasons for hope August 18, 2011
For much of July, I visited Mercy Corps' country programs in the West Bank and Gaza, Egypt and Libya. On my return, I wanted to share my thoughts on the challenges we face there and also the reasons that I came away hopeful. At the political level, things are fairly bleak.
Somalia: In Mogadishu's overcrowded hospitals August 17, 2011
Somalia: An unimaginable situation August 15, 2011
Yesterday my colleague Cassandra Nelson, on the ground in Somalia, sent in several photographs of what she was seeing in Mogadishu, the country's crisis-ravaged capital to which our emergency response team has deployed.
Kenya: Stranded and struggling eight miles from water August 11, 2011
These are the children of Qaraa. Covered in dust, thin and dazed, they are on the brink.
Iraq: Let's help Iraqi children together August 11, 2011
Across all the world’s nations, according to all religions and man-made constitutions, children should be given special care and kept away from struggles and conflicts. They are more valuable than any natural and industrial resource that a country might have.
Ethiopia: Feeding hungry children in remote Ethiopia August 4, 2011
Hibo — a tiny, chubby-cheeked three year old — seemed to take great delight in looking everywhere except my camera as I tried to take her photo. From her mother's hip she giggled, turned away and pulled faces by turns, to the amusement of all around.
Indonesia: Kid-friendly food carts take on child malnutrition August 2, 2011
The slums of Jakarta, Indonesia are home to some of the poorest families in Asia. The city — one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with more than 28 million people — has dozens of such places, where thousands of people live cramped in close quarters.