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: Armed for a new life
Six weeks ago, 16-year-old Juliana was fighting for the guerrillas in the Colombian countryside. Today she's one of 29 teenage ex-combatants living in a residential neighborhood of Cali, the country's third-largest city, learning how to get her life back on track.
Niger: "There is nothing to eat"
During the two weeks I recently spent with in Niger with our emergency response teams, I kept hearing the same thing over and over: There is nothing to eat.
Libya: Battle scars on the playground
The city of Misrata is reaching for a new beginning.
Tajikistan: A new hope for new mothers
Traditionally, new mothers in Tajikistan were taken care of for 40 days after giving birth, kept from household chores and even brought food in their room, where they spent all their time bonding with and caring for their newborn.
Japan: Images: From ruin to renewal
Twelve months after the tsunami that devastated Japan's northeast coast, reminders of the tragedy are everywhere — but so is an incredible resilience and hope to rebuild the future.
Ethiopia: Dowries to degrees: An education for Ethiopia's young women
Mercy Corps is helping girls in one of Ethiopia’s most remote regions explore a future full of new possibilities by providing them with scholarships to complete secondary school.
Indonesia: Healthier babies in Jakarta's poorest neighborhoods
Did you know that a father holding his infant on his shoulder at the end of the day may be the best way to soothe a cranky child? The baby is often comforted by the father’s heartbeat and his calm demeanor, which relieves a tired and stressed mother after a long day of infant care.
Japan: Helping the next generation look ahead
As I bumped along the slippery coastal road in a bus, I wondered what I would learn at the training that I was headed to in Kamaishi, Japan.
Colombia: Children find brighter futures off the streets
Espacios para Crecer, or Spaces to Grow, uses education to fight child labor in Bogotá's most impoverished neighborhoods.
Afghanistan: Building better lives in the midst of conflict
As the uncertain tensions and violence in Afghanistan continue, our predominantly Afghan team is working tirelessly to ensure that community needs are met.