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.
Iraq, Syria: Teen Syrian refugee boy looks for community in Iraq
Sepan, 15, dances to the beat of his own drummer. A Syrian refugee, he feels isolated in Iraq, but a new Mercy Corps community center could change all that.
Lebanon, Syria: Feeding the future: School lunches set kids up for success
Hunger is a stark reality for many refugee and low-income students in Lebanon. Find out how we got healthy lunches to thousands of children who needed them most.
Violence and child marriage: The many risks refugee girls face
As girls grow up, they face challenges at every turn. For refugee girls, those risks and challenges can be life-threatening. Learn why they face violence, abuse, early marriage and isolation — and how we're helping them cope.
International Day of the Girl: What's in the day of a refugee girl?
How does the life of a displaced girl differ from the young people you know? Meet girls from around the world who have been driven from their homes, and learn what a normal day means for them.
Colombia: School becomes a safe haven from violence
Children in Colombia are faced daily with threats like sexual assault and recruitment into armed groups. Find out how we're helping students like Lucia stay out of harm's way.
Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Who are Syrian refugees?
Meet a few of the people whose lives have been turned upside down by the war in Syria, and learn how we're helping them survive until they can go home again.
South Sudan: Back to school: How we get kids to class during conflict
Keeping children on track with their education is vital to their future, especially during conflict. That's why we're helping vulnerable students continue their studies despite the volatilty around them.
West Bank and Gaza: Bold murals help youth heal and inspire
This International Youth Day, we celebrate youth in war-torn Gaza who are learning how to express themselves, dream for the future and beautify their communities through art therapy.
Timor-Leste: Life of a girl: Solar power lights the way for Lourdes
Follow 15-year-old Lourdes through her day, and find out how Mercy Corps' clean energy program is helping her find time for her schoolwork among her other household responsibilities.
Guatemala: Healthy mothers make happy families, hopeful futures
We taught mothers in rural Guatemala how to improve the lives of their children through nutrition, hygiene and pregnancy care. Learn how the lessons are giving them a brighter, healthier future.