Watch the video above to learn how we’re empowering young people in Africa to go after their dreams, start their own businesses, and succeed — no matter what challenges they may face.
A roadside stand in South Sudan selling soap; an internet start-up in Gaza; a tofu processing plant in Indonesia: The global economy is connected by complex and dynamic markets. Mercy Corps believes in harnessing this inherent power to provide better opportunities for the world’s poor and vulnerable, half of whom live on less than $2/day.
Local communities themselves have the ability to drive this change and no two situations are alike. For this reason, we take a holistic, locally-led approach, working with communities, their systems and structures to build businesses, increase income and improve employment opportunities. Even in the most fragile and informal markets, we focus on intentional, market-based solutions, ones which can succeed and expand long after we’ve left.
Mercy Corps promotes safe, decent and equitable income opportunities for individuals around the world.
Mercy Corp's market-driven approach to crisis response leverages the capacities of non-aid actors in local and global economic systems and gives crisis-affected individuals the ability to drive their own decisions and secure their own lives and livelihoods.
Forty-two percent of the world is under the age of 25; Mercy Corps tailors employment programming to the unique needs of male and female youth.
Iraq: 'I'm an employee now'
Hamid Jassim is the 52-year-old father of a big family – he has two sons and three daughters, and is known in his community as Abo Mustafa. I met him while he was working as a laborer on a project for the rehabilitation of Basma Kindergarten, in the Jalawla neighborhood outside of Khanaqin.
Palestine (West Bank/Gaza): Empowering the techno-geeks of Palestine
This summer, I attended an event in the Gaza Strip with 100 computer-science students and budding entrepreneurs about the latest open-source software and development tools, showcased by engineers visiting from Google.
Indonesia: Old wounds reopened in Ambon
“Ambon manise,” (am-bone mah-nee-say) muttered the bewildered project coordinator of Mercy Corps’s Spice Up the Deal Project, as we stood watching midnight fires erupt in Ambon City below us.
Ethiopia: A sense of pride
We were recently asked to create a large-scale permanent photography collection for the gallery attached to our Portland Action Center. This image by Thatcher Cook was one of the selections.
Japan: Six months after the quake
Six months after the massive 9.0 earthquake struck eastern Japan on March 11, Mercy Corps continues to work with our partner agency, Peace Winds Japan, to bring relief and recovery to people in need.
Kenya: Without water in West Wajir
"Look. Over there. See them?"
Haiti: Tatie’s Home, a bakery in Port-au-Prince
Tatie grew up in a family of seven children, and wanted to own her own business since she was a little girl. While just a young student, Tatie's mother passed away and Tatie began raising her younger brother and god-daughter.
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia: Horn of Africa disaster didn't happen overnight
Photos and stories from the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa — a region that includes Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia — have brought to light suffering on an almost unimaginable scale.
Zimbabwe: Vocational training helps youths find jobs in Zimbabwe
Twenty-year-old Nyasha Zulu and 21-year-old Simbarashe Mudara have lived most of their lives in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, 30 kilometers from Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.
Haiti: Mobile wallets help Haitians rebuild
Families needed food. Small vendors and local economies needed cash. And it turns out the solution to this Catch-22 was right in the hands — or the pockets — of most Haitians.