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: PHOTOS: In Jordan, refugees find healing in the wilderness
To help Syrian refugees adapt to their new community, Mercy Corps uses wilderness therapy, including activities like hiking and rock climbing, so Syrian and Jordanian youth can interact in the outdoors, away from the struggles of daily life.
Guatemala: A future without migration: How we’re empowering youth to build a life at home
Migration is rampant is some parts of Guatemala. We're providing young people with the education and skills they need to thrive without having to leave their community.
Lebanon, Syria: How Mohammad found a future after a childhood of violence
12-year-old Mohammad leads a different life now that he's a refugee living in Lebanon. After his family fled Syria, he had to get a job to help support them. Find out how a community center helps him cope.
Quick facts: What you need to know about U.S. foreign aid
U.S. foreign assistance plays a critical role in saving lives and lifting people out of poverty around the world. With humanitarian funding from many partners, including the U.S.
Is international aid worth it?
On a scorching afternoon in southern Niger, five village women patrol a labyrinth of plants. It is the dry season here, the hardest time to find enough to eat, but the delicate leaves they turn in their hands tell a more promising story.
Afghanistan, Syria: The young refugees stuck in Greece
Thousands of young people have fled their homes in search of a better life in Europe, only to end up stuck in Greece, waiting for a chance to build a more stable future.
Jordan, Syria: Omar's vision: How war is shaping the next champions for peace
Omar Al-Tal, a Youth Program Leader in Jordan, believes in the incredible potential of young people today. Hear him talk about the opportunities and challenges they face as they approach the next phase of their lives.
Guatemala, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia: Empower a woman, unleash a leader: Why we support young female entrepreneurs
We provide women and girls with resources to build better lives, because we know strong women equal strong families and communities.
Kenya: How Kenya's future leaders found their voice
In the aftermath of a violence uprising, we connected young Kenyans to jobs and mentorship, and empowered them to get involved in their communities. Now, they have the skills to build the future they want.
Hear the voices of Greece's refugee youth in new report
Over 18,000 of the migrants and refugees stranded in Greece are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. They demonstrate immense potential for positive change, but their needs are often overlooked. Our report highlights their hopes and concerns.