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
Colombia: NPR discusses second chances for child soldiers
Peace talks are in progress, but the FARC continues to recruit young people to their front lines. Our Country Director in Colombia talks about the plight of child soliders and our efforts to help those who escape build new lives.
Jordan, Syria: Mothers coping with war: ‘I embrace them and tell them not to fear’
Over 75 percent of Syrian refugees are women and children. Find out how one mother is determined to help her children leave the trauma of war behind.
Youth are an asset, not a threat, to peace
In an interview at the annual InterAction Forum this week, our Senior Youth and Peacebuilding Advisor shares how Mercy Corps is working with young people as a powerful force for change in places like Kosovo, Kenya and Yemen.
Jordan, Syria: Life in Za'atari: An inside look
Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp is filled with uniform rows of tent upon tent now housing an estimated 140,000 Syrians. What is it like there for families who don't know when they can return home?
Reaching out to families in Boston
After Monday's tragedy, our thoughts are with our Boston community and we offer these resources for parents everywhere helping their children cope with the shocking events.
Lebanon, Syria: Regaining the hope of childhood
Ghadan, 9, shares one of her drawings in the Comfort for Kids workbook. The signature Mercy Corps program helps children process their trauma through creative expression and activities.
Jordan, Syria: Finding joy on the playground
Images from a recent visit to a Mercy Corps-built playground for refugee kids shows how their resilient spirit comes alive with a safe and happy place to play.
Jordan, Syria: Zeinab's story: A child's refuge from war
Zeinab is a bright, wide-eyed girl I met at Dream Land, a Mercy Corps playground inside Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. “I am happy here,” she said. “It’s better here because there is no war.”
Jordan, Syria: What will the future hold for Syria's young people?
After seeing her son imprisoned and tortured while trying to escape Syria, one mother wonders what's next for her family now that they are reunited in the Zaatari refugee camp.
Kenya: A movement for peace
Kenya's youth are working to ensure that peace prevails during Monday's national vote, the first since post-election violence swept the country in 2007. Read their stories.