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
Indonesia: Ku oba ekeu
In life there are few unexpected, sometimes unwanted, events that can drastically change your life forever. For me, one of them is being deployed to the tsunami-stricken Mentawai Islands as part of Mercy Corps’ Indonesia Response Team last month.
Kenya: Shaping the future
In pursuit of a mentor or a role model, most people aren’t always fortunate enough to have someone who can serve as both.
Haiti: Teacher to teacher, school to school
Bonjou! My husband and I arrived in Port-au-Prince's international airport yesterday. The original structure has deep cracks and rubble-filled rooms visible by the new parallel hallway that leads arriving passengers to the new terminal.
Haiti: Using art as a vehicle to help Haiti
Zimbabwe: Helping children live with HIV through Good Hope
Taking care of children living with HIV, or those who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS, can wear a guardian down. Clinic visits never seem to end. There is never enough food to fill everyone’s bellies. And money on hand never seems to cover all the transportation and medical costs.
Colombia: VIDEO: What "community-led" looks like
Every year thousands of families in Colombia are displaced from their homes and communities due to violence. They form resettlement camps where they can, often in undesirable locations due to lack of options.
Tajikistan: In Central Asia's hidden treasure
As a Desk Officer going on a field visit for the very first time, I could not have asked for a better place to visit than Tajikistan. I’ve come to think of it as a lost and/or hidden treasure in the middle of Central Asia.
India: One in ninety-eight
Ninety-eight. That's the number of kids in Rajan Tiru's class. He's in class nine — the equivalent of ninth grade in the U.S. Next year he'll be in class 10 and will need to pass a big exam so he can continue his studies.
Zimbabwe: Changing the lives of HIV/AIDS-orphaned children
Across Zimbabwe, 1.5 million children have been affected by HIV/AIDS, with many losing one or both parents to the virus. The majority of these orphaned and vulnerable children — even if taken in by compassionate relatives — struggle to have enough food to eat and to afford school fees.
Indonesia: Normally I don’t like children. But today I had no choice!
As most of my colleagues will tell you, generally I’m not keen on kids. But today, celebrating Global Handwashing Day with more than 1,500 mothers and children in West Jakarta, I had to get over that pretty quickly.