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
Japan: Starting Comfort for Kids in Japan
Japan: Q&A with Peace Winds' Natsu Nogami
Japan: Helping the Japan tsunami’s littlest survivors
The youngest survivors of disasters are often the most resilient, but also the most fragile. While earthquakes and tsunamis rob children of the same things that most adults hold dear — homes, families, friends — kids lack adult coping mechanisms. The emotional toll can be devastating.
Libya: Iman starts her own school
Since the uprising here in Libya began, the schools have all been closed. Most people here are not thinking about school or work but only about the fighting and what Gaddafi will do next.
Yemen: Helping youth connect to opportunity in Yemen
Umelto (Alto) Labetubun is Mercy Corps' representative in Yemen, our newest country program. Originally from Ambon, Indonesia, Alto began working for Mercy Corps in 2000, when his home island was rocked by a sectarian conflict that killed thousands and displaced more than a half-million people.
Iraq: Reclaiming a place for Iraqi youth
For many years, there was a very bad place in the middle of Kalar, Iraq. It had no name, but all kinds of malice and misfortune spread from it, spilling into the surrounding neighborhoods.
Egypt, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen: How we're helping transform the Middle East
The recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt — and their ripple effects across North Africa and the Middle East — have reminded the world how powerful young people can be.
Sri Lanka: Peace and reconciliation through sport
Q&A: Sarah Warren in Egypt
Sarah Warren is acutely aware of the needs, challenges and voices of Middle Eastern youth.
Iraq, Libya: Recognizing the power and potential of youth
The last few weeks of resolve, resistance and peaceful revolution in Egypt have reminded the world of the power of people — and especially youth. Mercy Corps has long recognized the potential of young people to be catalysts for positive change, especially in the Middle East.