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
Pakistan: Generosity and play in the hardest of times
Here in the Pakistani city of Mardan, displaced families are starting to move home after nearly three months sweltering in the hot tents of makeshift camps.
Pakistan: Thank you letters from displaced Pakistani children
We received these two thank-you letters from displaced children taking part in our program to provide them with sports, games, art and other activities to alleviate the trauma associated with their circumstance:
Pakistan: Update on kids' psychosocial program
A quick update of the numbers on our kids' psychosocial program:
China: Photo of the Day: A message of hope
Psychosocial programing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Mercy Corps' work, but one look at this photo and you realize how important it is.
Pakistan: Helping kids cope
Life has been anything but normal for Salman since early May. That's when the fifth grader and his family fled their home in Mingora, Pakistan, to escape the fighting between Pakistan's army and Taliban militants.
Colombia: Tools for life
As I stand over a particularly energetic fifth grade boy to keep him from kicking the girl next to him, I’m amazed: they’re actually quiet. And still — for the most part. These five minutes of stillness could be the most important gift that these kids have received all week.
Colombia: Building children's confidence through sport
I am a Material Aid Officer with Mercy Corps – which means I work with massive (truckload sized-quantities) donations of product. The donated materials my team works with run the gamut: from computers to textbooks to sports equipment to pharmaceuticals.
Uganda: New beginnings
Pakistan: Staff pitch in to help more kids in Pakistan
Kosovo: Creating opportunities for Kosovo's youth
Kosovo is the youngest country in Europe, both in terms of its statehood and its demographics. Half of the country’s population is under the age of 25, and many of these young people depart for work abroad or are supported by relatives.