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
Honduras: Building education from the ground up
Comayagua, Honduras — Sara is an atypical 14-year-old in rural Honduras. The reason? She's still in school.
China: Dandelion Seeds
Hu Yan's school days are hectic. She takes a full course load, including math, English, science and ethics. And her 45-minute lunch period affords no time to relax.
China: Nourishing Roots
Thousands of China’s urban youth are left without schooling because they are the children of migrant workers. Legally, these children are not allowed to go to school because their registration, or hukou, is in their home village instead of their adopted city.
Nepal: The Last Girl In School
As school began again this year, Anita Chaudhary was prepared to spend back-to-school day as she had for the last few years: at home. She was certain that, once again, she'd watch from the doorway of her family's tiny house as dozens of neighbor children passed by on their way to class.
Jordan: Transition to Education
Amman, Jordan — Smiles spread from ear to ear as the school-age girls called for the attention of their friends. For several hours, they frolicked on the playsets in the Zara Youth Park, a quiet greenspace set in a comfortable Amman neighborhood.
China: A Song of Sadness
Mahai Azhi’s soft smile belies the tragedies she’s endured in her young life. She was orphaned several years ago when both parents were taken to prison for selling heroin. Her father has since passed away; her mother remains in jail.
China: Q&A with Guo Xin
Guo Xin seemed destined for her job.
China: From Grief to Hope
The 56-year-old woman stood and stared at the makeshift stage in Zhuhe Township’s market. Hundreds of other spectators watched the performance alongside her, but to Lee Tuluo, the actors spoke only to her.
China: Living and Learning Together
When I visited Zhuhe Township, I had the opportunity to meet, interview and visit the homes of a half-dozen young women at the school. One thing I noticed was the absence of middle-age men nearly everywhere we went; there was a father present at only one of the family houses.
China: Bringing a Culture Back from the Brink
Professor Hou Yuangao has spent his career studying southwest China’s rich cultures. Today, alongside Mercy Corps, he’s helping save and preserve his own endangered ethnic group.