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.
Guatemala: My future, here in Guatemala
I’m a high school student in Guatemala City -- all around me, kids are joining gangs or fleeing to migrate north. Mercy Corps helped me get the chance to believe in myself, in my country, and in my future.
Guatemala: Where violence traps youth in poverty, opportunity frees them
In Guatemala City's most dangerous neighborhoods, deeply-rooted violence, poverty and lack of opportunity fuel chronic instability that keeps people from thriving. Learn how we're working with young people like Claudia to break that cycle.
Yemen: Picturing a brighter future: One woman's journey to serve her community through photography
Hayat knew from experience that not having a woman photographer in her community was limiting other women's options. So she picked up a camera to fix that.
Syria: A generation transformed by conflict in Syria
Mercy Corps talked with Syrian adolescents, ages 14 to 19 years old, to gain a deeper understanding of the conflict from their perspective. Here's what they told us.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): I'm a 25-year-old woman in Gaza. Learning to code changed my life.
Inside a small, buzzing office in the Gaza Strip, a new generation of geeks is writing code for companies around the world.
Nigeria: A tale of overcoming: One girl's journey from orphan to leader
In a world filled with obstacles, Suwaiba has steadfastly chased her dreams — and empowered others along the way. Read her story.
Jordan: We worked with adolescent girls to design their own reproductive health sessions. Here's what they taught us.
Refugee girls in Zaatari camp told us that they primarily learned about their bodies from older girls. So we let them take the lead.
Nigeria: How to hack hate speech in Nigeria
At a Hate Speech Hackathon sponsored by Mercy Corps, young Nigerians came together to combat hate with code.
Jordan, Syria: "Treat them as they are": How a safe space helped a young refugee blossom
Young refugees like Amani are often forced to grow up too fast, faced with adult decisions and traumatic circumstances. Read more about how we're helping her gain life skills and more in her refugee camp.
How we work: Young people
There are more young people in the world today than in any other time in history. That's why we're here to invest in their futures. Watch the video to learn more.