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.
All stories about Children & Youth
The first 1,000 days: No time for malnutrition
The first 1,000 days of a child's life, when development is happening more quickly than it ever will, is the most harmful time for them to be malnourished. Learn about the causes and effects of this devastating condition.
Lebanon, Syria: In Lebanon, one Syrian boy forced to grow up fast
Where school is out of reach, many Syrian refugees start work young, to learn a trade and help make ends meet for their families. We meet Hammoudi, a young teen in Lebanon, who dreams of returning to school.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: The stolen childhoods of refugee youth
Faced with life away from home, little access to school and destitute futures, many Syrian refugee teens are being forced into adulthood at an early age. We're trying to help them regain some of what they've lost.
A brighter future starts with an education
Learn more about the many ways that you’re helping Mercy Corps keep kids in school and transform communities around the world. With an education, a brighter future awaits.
Lebanon, Syria: One mother to another, Syrian refugees learn to cope
Parenting is never easy, but it's even more challenging when you are a refugee. That's why we are connecting refugee mothers in Lebanon with an expert on their situation: A Syrian refugee who can offer real-life advice.
Iraq: One youth leader turns play into progress
Growing up in Baghdad isn’t easy — violence and fear are part of the daily reality. But Zahra, 18, is bringing positive change to other young women in her community through movement and mentorship.
Syria, Turkey: What leaders can learn from Syria’s youth
They spoke of bullying, early marriage, as well as hope and their determination to build a better future. When Syrian youth spoke up at the World Humanitarian Summit in May, those leading the refugee crisis response were sure to listen.
Nigeria: How this woman escaped when Boko Haram came to town
In a moment, everyday Nigerians like Jummah are forced to flee home and try to reassemble a life with no job, little support and many mouths to feed.
Nigeria: New report investigates how Boko Haram recruits youth
Boko Haram is fueling crisis in Nigeria, and experts agree: The majority of its fighters are youth. To learn how to prevent further recruitment, we researched what motivates certain young people to join while others resist. Read our findings.
Kenya: How investing in women can help a community
Lucy was born with drive and ambition, but had no clear path to success. Then, she got involved in a Mercy Corps youth program in Kenya. Today, she's chasing her dreams and helping others chase theirs, too.