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
Kyrgyzstan: Meet our field staff: Alexander and Bakhtiyar
Alexander Kirillov and Bakhtiyar Ergashev have been part of our team in Kyrgyzstan since we began work there 20 years ago. Today, they're leading the fight against hunger and malnutrition in the country.
China: Progress report: Rebuilding communities one year after quake
One year after an earthquake devastated rural China, we're looking back on the recovery effort and looking ahead toward long-term rebuilding.
Lebanon, Syria: In the news: The cost of war on Syrian refugee children
On public radio's "On Point," Mercy Corps joins diplomatic officials and other regional experts to discuss the impact of the Syria crisis on the youngest victims.
Jordan, Syria: Getting Syria's most vulnerable children to school
Children with disabilities can easily fall through the cracks during the upheaval of war. We're making sure kids like Hayam have their needs met to continue their education as refugees.
Jordan, Syria: Life as a refugee: Spend the day with Nour
From dawn to dusk, every hour with Nour, 13, and her family in Zaatari refugee camp shows the hardships millions of Syrians endure every day, three years since the war began — and the occasional joys they hang on to far from home.
Jordan, Syria: Syrian youth in their own words
Ten young refugees in Zaatari camp talk about what it's like to grow up without their home and what keeps them looking forward.
Syria crisis & children: Why is it vital to focus on their needs?
Hear from Nigel Pont, Middle East Program Director: "If we don't invest in them now, then we'll certainly be hearing from them later."
Lebanon, Syria: A commitment to Syria's children
The trauma doesn't end when Syrian children escape the war. We're finding new ways to ensure this generation is not lost to this crisis.
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?