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
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.
Indonesia: Bringing healthy street food to Tegal Alur
“Hi friends! Come to My Child's Café… choose and get various healthy snacks here,” said a catchy jingle that played during over the grand opening of My Child Café and its healthy kitchen in West Jakarta's impoverished Tegal Alur neighborhood.
'Let's hope it won't take another earthquake to continue this work'
It’s the beginning of summer here in southern Chile. The weather is spectacular and everyone has something to be happy about. Schoolchildren look forward to the end of classes and the start of their long vacation.
Indonesia: Helping Indonesian mothers keep their babies healthy
Yemen: Engaging youth for a peaceful and productive future
Mercy Corps opened offices in Yemen in October, 2010 to work with local partners to implement a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program that engages young people in constructive community activities — thereby reducing their vulnerability to the negative influence of vio