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
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.
China: The China Few Have Seen
I believe you can learn a lot about a place from the journey to get there. I've never traveled to a place where this was as true as it is for Zhuhe Township, China.
China: An Ancient Culture Confronts New Challenges
Family life in China’s Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture is often isolated. “Liangshan” itself means “cool mountain” in Mandarin Chinese. Indeed, family farms of the Yi ethnic group are scattered among the rolling mountains, often several hours’ walking distance from the nearest town.
DR Congo: The Key is Hope
Like thousands of Congolese children, young Giselle's path to relative safety in Goma has been grueling. But, with your help, Mercy Corps is offering them much-needed support once they reach their destination.
Lebanon: Youth Taking the Reins of Recovery
Beirut, Lebanon — Burj al Barajneh is a tough part of town. Entering this southern neighborhood of Beirut is like entering another world — the city's many well-heeled, cosmopolitan dwellers are replaced by women in traditional Islamic cover and families in densely packed apartments.