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Youth Development

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Mercy Corps helps young people develop market-driven capabilities and access opportunities in order to secure income and develop a sense of Responsibility, Identity, Creativity and Hope (become RICH). Ultimately, our goal is to see young people transition into global citizens who are responsible for and capable of building secure, productive and just communities at home and around the world.

Today, half the world's population is under 25 – the largest proportion of young people ever recorded. 80% live in developing countries where economic, civic and social opportunities are insufficient to address the diverse needs of transition to adulthood. The International Labor Organization (ILO) predicts that in the 2009-2015 period, around 300 million new jobs will have to be created just to absorb the growth in the labor force . Global peace and prosperity will be determined by how well this youth bulge is integrated into both the labor force and social fabric. Because employment alone cannot absorb such a surge in labor supply, youth energy must be channeled towards other productive activities in their community. Our greatest challenge today is to provide young people with the capabilities and opportunities they need to drive and sustain development. Fortunately, young people are hungry to make a difference and represent an extraordinary window of opportunity to propel profound change in the world.

To learn how we help youth rise to the challenges of the modern world, take a look at the following information:

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