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
Lebanon, Syria: Regaining the hope of childhood
Ghadan, 9, shares one of her drawings in the Comfort for Kids workbook. The signature Mercy Corps program helps children process their trauma through creative expression and activities.
Jordan, Syria: Finding joy on the playground
Images from a recent visit to a Mercy Corps-built playground for refugee kids shows how their resilient spirit comes alive with a safe and happy place to play.
Jordan, Syria: Zeinab's story: A child's refuge from war
Zeinab is a bright, wide-eyed girl I met at Dream Land, a Mercy Corps playground inside Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. “I am happy here,” she said. “It’s better here because there is no war.”
Jordan, Syria: What will the future hold for Syria's young people?
After seeing her son imprisoned and tortured while trying to escape Syria, one mother wonders what's next for her family now that they are reunited in the Zaatari refugee camp.
Kenya: A movement for peace
Kenya's youth are working to ensure that peace prevails during Monday's national vote, the first since post-election violence swept the country in 2007. Read their stories.
Somalia: A little light goes a long way
Runners decked out in glow necklaces for LivingSocial 5k Dance Party will create quite a scene. But they'll also be making life a little brighter for kids like Fadumo, thousands of miles away in rural Somalia.
Kenya: Betting on peace as high-stakes elections approach
Mercy Corps' CEO visits Yes Youth Can and sees the future of Kenya in the young people working for peace in their country.
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Syria: An ongoing crisis
Refugee numbers are predicted to double as Syria's violent conflict drags on. We're on the ground in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq helping meet their most urgent needs for water, warmth and safety.
Haiti: Three years later, investing in the long-term
Since the January 2010 earthquake, Mercy Corps has reached more than 1.6 million people with lifesaving assistance. Now, we're investing in youth, small business owners and rural communities to build back stronger.
Haiti: Building back stronger
Through programs that empower young people, support entrepreneurs, and protect valuable natural resources, Haitians are finding new reasons to hope.