Mercy Corps partners with young people (10-24 yrs) to build stronger, more peaceful and productive communities. We believe that if young people learn relevant knowledge and skills, and engage socially, peacefullly and economically, then they will be able to lead secure and productive lives.
Our world is currently home to nearly 1.8 billion young people 10-24 years old, more than any other time in human history. The vast majority of them – nine out of ten – live in less developed countries where economic, civic and social opportunities are insufficient to address the diverse needs of transitioning to adulthood. Others are facing this transition while living in prolonged humanitarian crisis that presents significant challenges to their safety and well-being in the form of forced migration, recruitment, and crime, and early marriage and pregnancy for adolescent girls. These circumstances impede young people’s ability to contribute to their country’s growth and stability. They demand our attention, support and action, as their life choices will fundamentally influence the chances for stability and productivity in the world’s most challenging places.
Global peace and prosperity will be determined by how well young people are 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 capacities 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 young people rise to the challenge of making a successful transition to adulthood, take a look at the following information:
All stories about Adolescents and Youth
Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia: Youth & Consequences: Unemployment, Injustice and Violence
Getting youth development right has never been more pressing. Countering narratives of grievance, along with offering a better vision of the future, is the job of development. The question is how to do it.
Nigeria: Motivations and Empty Promises: Voices of Former Boko Haram Combatants and Nigerian Youth
New Mercy Corps research investigates key motives for youth to join Boko Haram.
Syria: Age of Unrest: Syrian Refugee Youth at the Crossroads
Each day that passes degrades our ability to help young Syrian refugees repair themselves before bitter experience hardens into habit. Here is the way forward.
Niger: Why Adolescent Girls’ Programming Matters
Evidence from an Impact Evaluation in Niger
Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria: Behind Them, a Homeland in Ruins: The Youth of Europe's Refugee Crisis
Mercy Corps' new research shines a light on the young refugees looking for hope and a new life.
Jordan, Syria: From Jordan to Jihad: The Lure of Syria’s Violent Extremist Groups
Mercy Corps research seeks to better understand what drives Jordanians to fight in order to influence evolving policy and programming seeking to mitigate violence and promote stability.
Syria: Adolescents inside Syria: No One Hears Us
In a new report addressing the needs of adolescents inside Syria, we found that adolescents dealing with the war face hopelessness and isolation. See our recommendations and download the report.
Economic Recovery Assessment: Sierra Leone
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has devastated communities in the three most affected countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Lebanon: South Lebanon Labor Market Assessment
Youth are currently the most under-employed group in Lebanon.
Afghanistan: Does Youth Employment Build Stability?
A study of our INVEST program yields insights for improving the effectiveness of investments in youth employment and stability interventions in Afghanistan and similar fragile states.