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: 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.
Somalia: A little light goes a long way
Runners decked out in glow necklaces for LivingSocial 5k Dance Party will create quite a scene. But they'll also be making life a little brighter for kids like Fadumo, thousands of miles away in rural Somalia.
Kenya: Betting on peace as high-stakes elections approach
Mercy Corps' CEO visits Yes Youth Can and sees the future of Kenya in the young people working for peace in their country.
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Syria: An ongoing crisis
Refugee numbers are predicted to double as Syria's violent conflict drags on. We're on the ground in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq helping meet their most urgent needs for water, warmth and safety.
Haiti: Three years later, investing in the long-term
Since the January 2010 earthquake, Mercy Corps has reached more than 1.6 million people with lifesaving assistance. Now, we're investing in youth, small business owners and rural communities to build back stronger.
Haiti: Building back stronger
Through programs that empower young people, support entrepreneurs, and protect valuable natural resources, Haitians are finding new reasons to hope.
Indonesia: Food carts on a whole new scale
In Jakarta, our teams found that 17% percent of children under 5 are malnourished, while 12% are overweight.
Indonesia: Nutrition on wheels
Resources for children after tragedy
All of us in the Mercy Corps family are struggling to comprehend today's unimaginable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. To families looking for guidance as they struggle with today's events, we offer these recommendations from our Comfort for Kids expert.
South Sudan: A classroom for Asholl
Asholl loves school so much that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. The second grader would stay in class all day if she could: "I like learning to read and write. I am bored when I have to stay home and it is raining. There is nothing to do."