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
Kosovo: A mother and child of mercy
Tina is Albanian. She met her Albanian Kosovar husband Ishmet during her nursing training in Albania and they moved back to his family home in Istog in northern Kosovo. It was a painful time for Tina.
Energizing Serbian Communities
It is easy to understand their skepticism. After years of false promises followed by years of a regime that largely forgot them, the communities in the Sandzak region of Serbia have seen their share of disappointments and hopes left unfulfilled.
Afghanistan: Master Trainers
On the inhospitable border, nicknamed "No Man's Land", between Pakistan and Afghanistan, a husband and wife team is working to improve the lives of Afghan refugee families flowing to and from Pakistan. Parveen and Syed Safdar are Master Trainers for Mercy Corps.
Afghanistan: A Class Project Worthy of High Marks
This is one class assignment that the students in Mr. McElroy's third-grade class at Alameda Elementary School in Portland, Oregon would not mind repeating.
Generous action makes youth soccer team a winner
The players on the Wild Green Bananas youth soccer team in West Linn, Oregon did not receive any trophies at the end of their most recent season, but don't tell this group of boys that they aren't winners.
Afghanistan: Giving back by going back
He comes from a place called Sheen Kallay, or green village, but after fours years of drought there are only small patches of green near the southern Afghanistan hometown of Dr. Mohammad Khan Kharoti.
Afghanistan: Commentary: Don't miss opportunity to help Afghans' education
Being a refugee from Afghanistan has often gotten me attention. Since Sept. 11, the level of interest about my life and beliefs has risen exponentially. I am often asked to share my thoughts and experiences with others.
Afghanistan: From nomad to doctor
I was born to a nomadic family in Afghanistan. I did not have the opportunity to go school or Madrassa (religious school) when I was young. I was not taught how to read. No one in my family could read or write. We did not enjoy the basic right to literacy.
Afghanistan: Mercy Corps distributes school and hospital supplies in Kabul, Afghanistan
From the hands of students in Issaquah, Washington to desks of children in Kabul, Afghanistan, a Mercy Corps relief mission is helping to deliver much needed aid while also bringing people together.
Afghanistan: Kabul area health clinics in desperate need of rehabilitation
A Mercy Corps assessment team recently visited health clinics in the villages outside the Afghanistan capital, Kabul, and found health facilities lacking basic medicines and patients forced to wait on hallway floors because there were no beds.