Watch the video above to learn how we’re empowering young people in Africa to go after their dreams, start their own businesses, and succeed — no matter what challenges they may face.
A roadside stand in South Sudan selling soap; an internet start-up in Gaza; a. tofu processing plant in Indonesia: The global economy is connected by complex and dynamic markets. Mercy Corps believes in harnessing this inherent power to provide better opportunities for the world’s poor and vulnerable, half of whom live on less than $2/day.
Local communities themselves have the ability to drive this change and no two situations are alike. For this reason, we take a holistic, locally-led approach, working with communities, their systems and structures to build businesses, increase income and improve employment opportunities. Even in the most fragile and informal markets, we focus on intentional, market-based solutions, ones which can succeed and expand long after we’ve left.
Mercy Corps promotes safe, decent and equitable income opportunities for individuals around the world.
Forty-two percent of the world is under the age of 25; Mercy Corps tailors employment programming to the unique needs of male and female youth.
All stories about Economic opportunity
Indonesia: From gloom to loom
India: Catching up with old friends
I should clarify that before a few weeks ago, I had never met Sonia and Rima. But when we met, I felt like I was catching up with old friends. I knew about the challenges they faced growing up on Assam's tea estates — and their aspirations to own their own successful beauty salon.
Tajikistan: Dress for success
Sitting in a room with four other girls, Gulshan Chorieva holds up a dress that she and the other sewing students have been working on under guidance of the master seamstress.
Tajikistan: Through a Caring Lens
Ethiopia: Partnering with Angelique Kidjo to help Ethiopian girls stay in school
Starting today, there will be more educational opportunities for young women in some of southern Ethiopia's poorest villages.
Ethiopia: Helping Ethiopia’s daughters stay in school
“These days, I can barely sleep because I am so excited with ideas on what to do next," says 38-year-old Felekech Endiris says with a smile. "I’m doing a bigger business. My family has enough to eat and I can afford medicines for my children now.”
Alleviating energy poverty
Energy poverty and community-based energy solutions have been back in the news lately, and have been a focus of Mercy Corps’ programming for the last couple of years.
Uganda: Truly, skills for employment and skills for life
A few weeks ago, I was honored to serve as the Chief Judge at an interschool debate on HIV/AIDS prevention. Under a perfect blue Ugandan sky, youth from two neighboring schools prepared to deliver remarks on the importance of abstinence, safe sex, delayed marriage and healthy life choices.
Ethiopia: Celebrating a new home
Just three months ago, Temam Khiyar was homeless. He lived with his wife and their four children in a lean-to constructed of wooden poles and scrap cloth on the hard red clay of a vacant lot. Not any more.
Ethiopia: Standing her ground and springing back
In many places around the world, drought withers lawns. In Ethiopia, drought withers lives. "When I was young, I was beautiful," says 50-year-old Zesino Mohamed Shiro. "But years of drought and not having enough to eat makes you old."