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: VIDEO: A song, laughter and clapping
A school isn't only a place of learning for a child, it's a place of security. It's a place to be among trusted friends and caring adults.
Iraq: Peaceful still life
A lifetime of conflict, displacement and uncertainty could make for some pretty dark art. A painter growing up during some of Iraq’s most violent years might find themselves replaying dismal and disturbing scenes with brushstrokes across canvas.
New ideas and energy flow between Chile and Haiti and beyond
We’ve just been cc’d into an email to Mercy Corps headquarters from Kyle Dietrich, director of youth programs for Mercy Corps in Haiti. “This has been a tremendous and unexpected week,” writes Kyle. “Maxene and I have lots of ideas and a new energy for our challenging work.”
Ethiopia: Helping Ethiopian mothers protect their children
It is astonishing to know that very simple solutions exist that will protect our youngest citizens against diseases, yet so few children have access to this basic health care in countries where it is most needed.
DR Congo: Boy in Buhimba IDP camp, Congo
A boy living in the Buhimba camp for families displaced by war, outside the city of Goma, DR Congo.
Haiti: Today I'm living another way
I've been working with Mercy Corps for four months now on the Moving Forward project. Moving Forward is a sport and play-based psychosocial support program designed for youth affected by the January 12 earthquake here in Haiti.
Kyrgyzstan: A warmer New Year's Day for some deserving kids
A big "RAHMAT" — "thank you" in the Kyrgyz and Uzbek languages — to our donors who helped us respond to the crisis in Kyrgyzstan!
Indonesia: The importance of washing your hands with soap
The emergency response team here in the tsunami-stricken Mentawai Islands has been preparing for a hygiene promotion campaign for survivors, and today was their first day in action!
Haiti: The power of play
Herma Pierre, 13, is beating the odds. She survived the earthquake. And she’s growing up in Port-au-Prince’s toughest slum. Six years ago, Cité Soleil was a war zone. Violence has subsided in recent years, but for girls like Herma, guns and gangs still pose a serious threat.
Haiti: The long road to recovery
The Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti decimated the capital city of Port-au-Prince, killing more than 230,000 people. It was a tragic blow to a country where 55 percent of the population already lived below the poverty line of $1 a day.