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
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.
United States: Mercy Corps Action Center aims to educate
West Bank and Gaza: VIDEO: For the Children of Gaza
Since February 2009, immediately after Operation Cast Lead, Mercy Corps in Gaza has been implementing a comprehensive psychosocial program funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Haiti: A youthful vision for a new Haiti
Harnessing the energy of young people is instrumental in rebuilding a stronger Haiti. Our youth programs put that belief into action by addressing young people’s unique psychosocial needs and investing in their development.
West Bank and Gaza: 'I wish I was like the rest of the children in the world'
Roba wants to be an English teacher. Soad a lawyer. Abeer a psychological therapist, and Monzer a doctor. Hala has not yet decided what she wants to do in the future, but for now is determined to achieve the highest scores in school.
Haiti: H is for Haiti! Mercy Corps partners with Sesame Workshop to help Haiti's children
Central African Republic: From our photo library
A couple of years ago, someone mentioned that I should look at the photography of Mercy Corps staffer, Jenny Bussey Vaughan. At the time she was working in Central African Republic. The disc of images I received was filled with excellent work.
"Now I know what to do if it happens again"
It’s been a marathon of logistics and preparations, but we are now bringing our tailored-for-Chile version of Mercy Corps workshops to some 800 boys and girls in the towns of Talcahuano, Penco, Coronel, Hualpén, San Pedro de la Paz