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
Jordan, Syria: In the news: TODAY highlights Mercy Corps' work with Syrian refugees
Jordan Country Director Rob Maroni discusses the families he's met and the tremendous need he witnesses every day.
Jordan, Syria: Aya's story: A future in limbo
Just a year from finishing high school when she fled Syria, Aya now struggles to help her family find a semblance of home in Zaatari refugee camp.
Lebanon, Syria: Meet our field staff: Ghassan
As part of the Mercy Corps team responding to the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, Ghassan's gentle poise and easy smile make him the ideal mentor for the children he helps.
Jordan, Syria: Building Azraq, the newest Syrian refugee camp
With Syrian refugee numbers expected to keep climbing, aid groups are working around the clock to get a second major refugee camp running in September.
Jordan, Syria: Omran's story: Soccer is a comfort from home
Sports have helped Omran let go of anger and adjust to life at Zaatari refugee camp, where Mercy Corps built fields and will start a league for the kids.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: In the news: One million Syrian refugee children
The UN announced today that one million Syrian children have now been registered as refugees. And of those, some 740,000 are under the age of 11.
Jordan, Syria: Ibrahim’s story: A chance to play is a chance to heal
Eight-year-old Ibrahim saw war rage outside his window in Syria. Now at Zaatari refugee camp, our play spaces and activities are helping him feel safe again.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Q+A: How we're protecting Syrian refugee kids
Our child protection expert in Jordan and Lebanon explains what their life is like and what Mercy Corps is doing to keep them safe.
Jordan, Syria: Sandcastles bring happiness to Syrian kids
In these photos, you can see how the simple opportunity to play and use their imaginations brings comfort to the youngest refugees.
International Youth Day: Five ways we're helping young people change the world
Read about the young people we’ve met and what they’re doing to transition themselves toward adulthood — and their countries toward peace and development.