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
China: The World's Youngest Principal
When I think about our first day distributing hygiene kits to displaced earthquake survivors, I will most remember the bravery of a 17-year-old school principal.
Lebanon: Making Movies
A disenchanted male teenager spends his days sleeping and his nights drinking and wandering the roads looking for trouble. The emptiness of daily life provides the focus for the film "Good Morning," produced by Lebanese teenagers Ranine Andraus, Christian Andraus and Shadi Sader.
North Korea: Food for North Korea's families
Mercy Corps is taking the lead in a yearlong distribution of 100,000 metric tons of food to quell rampant hunger in North Korea.
Regaining Her Smile, Dispelling Fear
Somalia: Helping Somalis Endure Hardship
As Somalia slides closer to famine, Mercy Corps continues to drill boreholes, build schools and offer short-term jobs in an area where few global relief agencies will tread.
Using Sports to Support Youth
It's not the classroom, or the doctor's office, or some other site where you might expect to find traumatized children receiving supportive services. Mercy Corps believes that athletic fields and playgrounds can be the place where emotional recovery takes place.
Indonesia: Promoting 'Early and Exclusive' Breastfeeding
Tugu Utara, Jakarta — Little Efa lives in one of the poorest and dirtiest sections of Indonesia's crowded capital, but she's as happy and healthy as any 5-month-old girl you'd meet. That may be partly because she is breastfed.
India: Styling a better future
The eight kilometers that Sonia and Rima bike each day from their homes on the Maud Tea Estate might seem like a short ride, especially to seasoned cyclists.
Zimbabwe: Untrammeled Spirit
Honduras: Building education from the ground up
Comayagua, Honduras — Sara is an atypical 14-year-old in rural Honduras. The reason? She's still in school.