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
Ethiopia: Helping Ethiopia’s daughters stay in school
“These days, I can barely sleep because I am so excited with ideas on what to do next," says 38-year-old Felekech Endiris says with a smile. "I’m doing a bigger business. My family has enough to eat and I can afford medicines for my children now.”
DR Congo: A day of peace in Congo
Around the world, people took a moment to celebrate the International Day of Peace. The Mercy Corps team in Nyanzale, Democratic Republic of the Congo took time to celebrate the call for ceasefire and non-violence with the communities from displacement camps and Nyanzale town.
Indonesia: Smiles from Padang's orphans
September 8, 2010 was the last day of working in Mercy Corps West Sumatra before the office closed for the Eid al Fitri, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadhan. I joined the Urban Team in distributing supplies to the orphanages in and around the city of Padang.
Haiti: A psychologist's perspective on Port-au-Prince
Colombia: Fighting sex trafficking in Colombia's tourist jewel
Night has fallen in Cartagena, Colombia, and children are for sale.
Zimbabwe: My introduction
Haiti: What "Back to School" will mean for kids in Haiti
Kyrgyzstan: The laughter of a child
When I was briefed at Mercy Corps headquarters just before leaving for Osh this time, a field veteran mentioned an important security indicator to watch for when entering a conflict zone: the presence of children.
United States: “Lemon Aid" for Mercy Corps
The sound of young voices calling “lemonade for sale,” is frequent on my summertime bike rides home from work. Yesterday, I was surprised to hear “lemonade for sale, benefit for Mercy Corps.”
Indonesia: "Is it healthy food or not?"
“Why, lately, has my child been commenting on the food that I cook, asking if is it healthy food or not?” was a mother's question. Yulaita, the principal of Aisyiyah Suka Ramai Kindergarten in Aceh recalls hearing the question — she's also been hearing similar question from her child.