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
United States: A New School Year, a ‘New Normal'
Slidell, Louisiana - The only thing Tish Casey tried to retrieve from her ruined pre-K classroom was a rocking chair. It was her grandmother's rocking chair, and Casey, 54, had wanted to give the chair to her own grandchild, expected in April.
Sudan: Safety Nets, Soccer-Style
Hassa Hissa Camp, Darfur — Most of the kids on the dusty playground here have had their young lives completely disrupted over the last two years.
United States: A Welcome Back to School
Classes began in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana this week, but teachers who returned to work there weren't comparing notes on their summer vacations.
Indonesia: Hope for Weki and His Peers
One sunny morning inside of an elementary school classroom in West Sumatra's Pariaman district, a few dozen eager-looking students accepted bright yellow cartons handed out to them by their teachers.
Comforting Kids Displaced by Hurricane Katrina
United States: Helping Children Heal
Indonesia: A Love Affair with Soccer
Soccer is big in Indonesia.
Sri Lanka: Getting Back to Play
The morning cool was just burning off as we bundled into the van. The vehicle was already packed full of paint, rope, and various hand tools that by the end of the day would help create a playground for over 60 children who live at the Komari camp for tsunami-displaced families.
Sudan: Making a Difference in Sudanese Refugee Camps
Mercy Corps is working to improve conditions for nearly 90,000 Sudanese living in three refugee camps across Darfur, a region roughly the size of France where more than 2 million people have fled their homes.
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
After graduating from secondary school, 18-year-old Maftuna found herself like many of her peers in the 4,500-person Galatoy community near Margilan, Uzbekistan: jobless with few prospects for employment.