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
Haiti: The power of play
Herma Pierre, 13, is beating the odds. She survived the earthquake. And she’s growing up in Port-au-Prince’s toughest slum. Six years ago, Cité Soleil was a war zone. Violence has subsided in recent years, but for girls like Herma, guns and gangs still pose a serious threat.
Indonesia: Bringing healthy street food to Tegal Alur
“Hi friends! Come to My Child's Café… choose and get various healthy snacks here,” said a catchy jingle that played during over the grand opening of My Child Café and its healthy kitchen in West Jakarta's impoverished Tegal Alur neighborhood.
'Let's hope it won't take another earthquake to continue this work'
It’s the beginning of summer here in southern Chile. The weather is spectacular and everyone has something to be happy about. Schoolchildren look forward to the end of classes and the start of their long vacation.
Indonesia: Helping Indonesian mothers keep their babies healthy
Yemen: Engaging youth for a peaceful and productive future
Mercy Corps opened offices in Yemen in October, 2010 to work with local partners to implement a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program that engages young people in constructive community activities — thereby reducing their vulnerability to the negative influence of vio
Indonesia: Ku oba ekeu
In life there are few unexpected, sometimes unwanted, events that can drastically change your life forever. For me, one of them is being deployed to the tsunami-stricken Mentawai Islands as part of Mercy Corps’ Indonesia Response Team last month.
Kenya: Shaping the future
In pursuit of a mentor or a role model, most people aren’t always fortunate enough to have someone who can serve as both.
Haiti: Teacher to teacher, school to school
Bonjou! My husband and I arrived in Port-au-Prince's international airport yesterday. The original structure has deep cracks and rubble-filled rooms visible by the new parallel hallway that leads arriving passengers to the new terminal.
Haiti: Using art as a vehicle to help Haiti
Zimbabwe: Helping children live with HIV through Good Hope
Taking care of children living with HIV, or those who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS, can wear a guardian down. Clinic visits never seem to end. There is never enough food to fill everyone’s bellies. And money on hand never seems to cover all the transportation and medical costs.