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
Guatemala: Defusing Crisis
Olivia's calm smile says a lot about her life today. However, just a few months ago, the situation was a lot different.
South Sudan: Video: Sports For Peace and Life in Sudan
Niger: Fati: Taking Action for Her Son
Niamey, Niger - Fati Issia seems alone in the crowd. In the midst of the boisterous waiting room at Niamey's Dar es Salaam neighborhood health clinic, she sits quietly while other mothers engage in conversation. She holds her seven-month-old son Moctar on her lap.
Uganda: First Day of School, At 14
Ogonyo IDP Camp, Uganda - It might look like any other day for 14-year-old Bosco Odongo. Dressed in a pink shirt and brown shorts like his classmates, he carries a crisp new notebook and walks the dirt path leading to the village school.
Colombia: For Leidi, a Place to Eat
Kosovo: Giving youth a voice
Mitrovica/Mitrovicë, Kosovo — This is a city divided by a river, by walls topped with sharp razor wire, by heavily armed soldiers and, most of all, by ethnic discord. Some regional analysts have derided the place as "a dead city."
Nicaragua: Coffee sales spur better health
Yali, Nicaragua — The going rate to see a doctor or buy a month's supply of prescription medicine in this poor Central American nation is about $25.
South Sudan: Improving Child Health in Recovering South
Few habitable places on earth are more remote than the villages of Ulang County, South Sudan. Some families there live a two-hour walk from the nearest water source. Others can reach the main town only by walking six hours along a narrow trail.
United States: One Year Later: Restoring Community
United States: The Eyes Have It
New Orleans, Louisiana - Lynn Hobbs lost her home, her office, and - worst of all - her eldest son in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Such circumstances might break and embitter a person - but not Hobbs.