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
Celebrating Peace Day with major league soccer
DR Congo: Patience and Promise
These two girls live in a displacement camp in eastern Congo.
Japan: Six months after the quake
Six months after the massive 9.0 earthquake struck eastern Japan on March 11, Mercy Corps continues to work with our partner agency, Peace Winds Japan, to bring relief and recovery to people in need.
Remembering 9/11, honoring Comfort for Kids
As the difficult anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001 looms, those of us old enough to remember it cannot but think to where we were and what we were doing when the planes hit, and in retrospect, how our individual lives as well as our country has changed.
Libya: Metamorphosis of a parking lot
During the holy month of Ramadan, kids here had an opportunity to leave their homes after months of instability and enjoy the evenings with friends and family.
Libya: Helping children heal
I recently caught up with Dr. Omar Reda, a Libyan-American psychiatrist who’s helping Mercy Corps set up psychosocial programs for children affected by the conflict there.
Georgia: Orphaned girl in Georgia
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
Zimbabwe: Vocational training helps youths find jobs in Zimbabwe
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
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.