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
Guatemala: A Volunteering Spirit
Three-year-old Maynor sits in his mother's lap, barely conscious. He is pallid, exhausted and falling limp in his mother's arms.
Guatemala: Reaching Out to Mothers in Guatemala
Guatemala's wild, verdant Polochic Valley feels like a secret. It's a narrow, winding seam in the country's colorful fabric. As the Polochic River rushes toward the Caribbean, past indigenous Q'eqchi and Poqomchi villages, it seems to be the only thing in a hurry to reach its future.
Honduras: Filling the Information Gap in Honduras
The Lindo family did not know why their 3-year-old daughter Teresa couldn't seem to shake a long-running illness. It seemed to have no cure.
Sri Lanka: Team of Youth for Development, Understanding, and Progress (TYDUP): The Play’s the Thing
Along the beachfront road in Kinniya, on the corner beside the gutted remains of Kinniya District Hospital, a hand-lettered sign has been nailed to a tree: TSUNAMI JUNCTION
Sri Lanka: Rebuild Sri Lanka: The Power of Private Initiative
Making a Splash in the Community
It seems like most youth in Kursumlja plan to leave the municipality as soon as they can. Kursumlja is one of the most economically-depressed municipalities in Serbia and youth see no hope of finding their future here.
India: Children Returning to Childhood in India
Pondicherry, India - In the tiny village of Kanapathichettikullum, just 15 kilometers north of Pondicherry, the sixty concrete and thatch huts that make up this community bore an unimaginable brunt.
Honduras: Going the Distance for Children in Honduras
Elsie Reyes is committed to education - very committed.
Sudan: Displaced Kids Return to School in Darfur, but Many Are Still Left Out
On a hot, dusty day, hundreds of students pour out of their makeshift school, notebooks in hand. Looking at the smiles on their faces, it could be any after-school scene, but these students have all been displaced from their homes in Darfur, Sudan.
On to Lerik, Azerbaijan