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:
All stories about Youth Development
The world of work October 13, 2014
Failure to address unemployment now will impact the global economy for years to come. Read about Mercy Corps' strategies, definitions and principles for finding local, sustainable solutions to widespread unemployment.
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Advancing Adolescence September 17, 2014
Adolescence is a critical time for young boys and girls, and within the Syria Crisis Response, they require specific and targeted programming that addresses their needs.
South Sudan: South Sudan, Through Youth’s Eyes August 21, 2014
Understanding drivers and incentives for youth violence in the pre-crisis context.
Youth As Agents of Positive Change August 1, 2014
In many of the places Mercy Corps works, youth represent more than half the population.
Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, Zimbabwe: Why Youth Fight August 1, 2014
Whether as victims or perpetrators, youth are often at the center of violent disputes.
Youth Programming in Transitional Environments September 20, 2013
Mercy Corps is working with nearly 3 million young people in some of the world’s toughest transitional environments – including Afghanistan, Somalia, Colombia and Yemen.
Yemen: Promoting Youth Employment in Yemen September 5, 2013
Young people in Yemen face extreme challenges in improving their economic situation.
Nigeria: Adolescent Girls in Northern Nigeria: Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Opportunities April 26, 2013
Adolescent Girls in Northern Nigeria: Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Opportunities Profile profiled 1,800 adolescent girls (ages 15 to 19) and private sector actors across the northern Ni
Somalia: Examining the Links between Youth Economic Opportunity, Civic Engagement and Conflict February 1, 2013
Somali youth hold the potential to contribute to positive change in their country. However, currently they are also the majority of the participants in militant and criminal groups.
Jordan, Lebanon: Youth from Jordan and Lebanon promote cultural heritage August 8, 2012
Mercy Corps Lebanon and Jordan implemented the European Commission-funded project “Foundations for a Strong Future: Youth in Lebanon and Jordan Promote Cultural Heritage” in partnership with four l