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
Yemen: How we can turn the tide
Some say Yemen is on the edge of abyss. But there is a tremendous opportunity in Yemen — especially if we can harness the potential of the youth.
Jordan, Syria: Leena's worries for her children
I met Leena in the Zaatari refugee camp, near Jordan's northwest border with Syria.
Liberia: Youth find work meeting new needs
Two young men sit outside the shop that's brought them a new source of income.
Lebanon, Syria: Building a community of support for refugees
Two signature Mercy Corps programs will bring support and healing to young Syrian refugees, their parents, and Lebanese hosts families, all affected by the escalating violence in Syria.
Haiti: Giving kids a sporting chance
Cité Soleil is full of a lot of things, but hope is not one of them.
Haiti: Helping Kids Heal: Emmanuella's story
The 2010 earthquake was just the first tragedy to strike Emmanuella's young life. Amid violence and uncertainty, she's found comfort and confidence on the soccer field.
Central African Republic: Play therapy for children displaced by LRA violence
New groups are helping more kids heal from the terror wrought by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.
Comforting kids around the world
In the aftermath of natural disasters and wars, children need help to make sense of what's happened. Our emergency-response teams lay the groundwork for emotional recovery in children by using two programs:
Jordan, Syria: Helping young refugees play
Just six miles south of the Jordan-Syria border, in the middle of a barren, windswept desert, there’s a haven of safety for more than 20,000 Syrians who have fled their homes in recent months.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Syria's refugee tide: Children at the heart of our mission
Children especially are swelling the refugee ranks. It is a scenario I have witnessed over many years in the Middle East, Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and other war zones.