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
Kenya: How Kenya's future leaders found their voice
In the aftermath of a violence uprising, we connected young Kenyans to jobs and mentorship, and empowered them to get involved in their communities. Now, they have the skills to build the future they want.
Colombia, Greece, Guatemala, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Niger, Syria: Youth at a Crossroads January 23, 2017
Today, millions of youth are at a crossroads: In a world of crisis, they will either become a force for peace or one of continued instability. We must support and empower them now, while they are making the choices that will determine the fate of their lives and their communities.
Greece: Hear the voices of Greece's refugee youth in new report
Over 18,000 of the migrants and refugees stranded in Greece are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. They demonstrate immense potential for positive change, but their needs are often overlooked. Our report highlights their hopes and concerns.
Greece: Providing hope for young refugees in Greece
Young people who've fled violence and sought refuge in Greece now face a severe shortage of jobs, schooling and support. We're working to give them a future.
Lebanon, Syria: Syrian dad determined to keep refugee kids learning
Ziad will do anything to ensure his children get an education — and a future — as refugees. At this camp in Lebanon, that meant starting a school in his tent and teaching lessons himself.
Mali: Why are Mali’s youth taking up arms?
Our new report on Mali reveals that efforts to discourage youth from turning to violence must engage entire communities, and go beyond just focusing on young people themselves.
Somalia: Breaking the cycle of violence for Somalia’s youth
How do we make Somali youth less likely to engage in violence? A new Mercy Corps report says that education isn’t enough — they need engagement, too.
Niger: Girl, Uninterrupted: How Dahara built a future by saying no to child marriage
Niger is one of the world's toughest places to be a girl — here, early marriage stops the majority of girls from finishing school and reaching their full potential. Find out how Dahara is bucking tradition and building a life on her own terms.
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.