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.
Jordan, Syria: The dream Bashar carries
Bashar is a 21-year-old Syrian refugee who works 70 hours a week to support his family. But he hasn't given up on his dream for a better life.
Guatemala: In Guatemala City, choice changes everything
Drugs, violence and poverty are rife in Guatemala City, leaving many young people feeling they don't have the power to change their circumstances. We're showing them otherwise.
7 ways you changed the world in 2017
Your compassion and generosity helped us transform nearly 22 million lives this past year. Here are just a few of the ways you made the world a better place in 2017.
Jordan, Syria: 7 ways you're helping Syrian refugees build better lives
Because of caring people like you, our response to the Syrian refugee crisis has kept growing — and now, there are so many ways we are working together to help Syrian refugee families.
Niger: How a goat can change a girl
In Niger—a country where hunger is chronic, poverty is rampant, and opportunity for women is nonexistent—goats can offer girls like Fatsuma security, providing income and a rare chance to build a stronger life.
Jordan, Syria: For refugees with disabilities, a back to school to remember
Syria's most vulnerable refugee students face incredible barriers to receiving an education. That's why going back to school means so much more for them than the end of summer.
Iraq: Mosul's children
With conflict over, Mosul's youngest victims begin their next challenge: rebuilding a future.
Jordan: PHOTOS: In Jordan, refugees find healing in the wilderness
To help Syrian refugees adapt to their new community, Mercy Corps uses wilderness therapy, including activities like hiking and rock climbing, so Syrian and Jordanian youth can interact in the outdoors, away from the struggles of daily life.
Guatemala: A future without migration: How we’re empowering youth to build a life at home
Migration is rampant is some parts of Guatemala. We're providing young people with the education and skills they need to thrive without having to leave their community.
Lebanon, Syria: How Mohammad found a future after a childhood of violence
12-year-old Mohammad leads a different life now that he's a refugee living in Lebanon. After his family fled Syria, he had to get a job to help support them. Find out how a community center helps him cope.