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.
Palestine (West Bank/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.
Jordan, Syria: Against all odds: An equal opportunity to learn for refugee children with disabilities
Seven-year-old Khalid has muscular dystrophy and rarely left his family's caravan in Zaatari refugee camp. Learn how we helped him attend school for the first time.
Guatemala: Tea and spice growers working for healthier futures
Growing tea ingredients is a precarious livelihood. That's why we've worked with Tazo Tea over the last decade to support farming communities in India and Guatemala. Meet a few people who now have a brighter future.
Tajikistan: From healthy pregnancy to happy baby in rural Tajikistan
We're working to help new mothers in rural Tajikistan learn about childhood nutrition, diet diversity and the importance of breastfeeding their newborns.
Iraq, Pakistan: Confident youth create change
In low-income communities in Iraq and Pakistan, one youth program is helping adolescents build the confidence they need to achieve their goals.
Jordan, Syria: From refugee to role model
Sami hated life in the refugee camp when he arrived. Now, two years later, he’s helping other young people shift their perspective and dream for the future.
Jordan, Syria: After despair: Sami's story
Two years ago, Sami felt alone and trapped in his new life at Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp. Now, he's turned his experience around and is helping others as a volunteer for one of Mercy Corps' youth centers.
A new path to counter youth violence
Young people are not driven to conflict simply because they are unemployed. Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer discusses what our new research means for international efforts to address the rise of violent extremism.