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
Philippines: A child's safe haven helps families cope
Merlyn and her three children can't go home again. Child Centered Spaces give the young mother peace of mind as they recover from Typhoon Haiyan.
Jordan, Syria: Winter for Ibrahim: Helping refugee kids stay warm in Zaatari
His mother thought they'd be able to return to Syria by now. How does a family survive winter without the basics of home?
Philippines: Addressing children's needs during relief efforts
New safe spaces give kids a place to play and find support while we help their parents rebuild after Typhoon Haiyan.
Jordan, Syria: A message for you from Syria's children
With your support, we're making sure refugee children don't feel forgotten. See what they created to say thank you for giving them hope for the future.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: In the News: NPR's All Things Considered visits Syrian refugees with Mercy Corps' child protection expert
Alexandra Chen spoke with NPR about the importance of treating symptoms of trauma in children displaced by the conflict.
China: Kindergartens at heart of post-earthquake recovery
School supplies are helping schools reopen while we train educators how to better prepare for the next emergency.
Lebanon, Syria: Doulama's story: A video by Syrian youth
Doulama was 18 when she was forced to flee her home in Syria. Two years later, she talks about the escape and how she dreams of going back home.
South Sudan: Building schools in a new nation
Education here ranks among the lowest in the world. In this beautiful footage, see the safe classrooms we've built, and the children who are getting a new chance to learn.
Jordan, Syria: We asked Syrian kids: What makes you happy?
What we learned: The joys of childhood are universal. These portraits put a human face on a massive humanitarian crisis.
Jordan, Syria: Toys bring smiles to Syrian refugee children
As these photos show, the arrival of stuffed animals and classics like Play-Doh and Memory gave kids a moment of happiness in otherwise dire circumstances.