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.
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.
All stories about Economic opportunity
Ethiopia: Helping Ethiopia’s daughters stay in school
“These days, I can barely sleep because I am so excited with ideas on what to do next," says 38-year-old Felekech Endiris says with a smile. "I’m doing a bigger business. My family has enough to eat and I can afford medicines for my children now.”
Alleviating energy poverty
Energy poverty and community-based energy solutions have been back in the news lately, and have been a focus of Mercy Corps’ programming for the last couple of years.
Uganda: Truly, skills for employment and skills for life
A few weeks ago, I was honored to serve as the Chief Judge at an interschool debate on HIV/AIDS prevention. Under a perfect blue Ugandan sky, youth from two neighboring schools prepared to deliver remarks on the importance of abstinence, safe sex, delayed marriage and healthy life choices.
Ethiopia: Celebrating a new home
Just three months ago, Temam Khiyar was homeless. He lived with his wife and their four children in a lean-to constructed of wooden poles and scrap cloth on the hard red clay of a vacant lot. Not any more.
Ethiopia: Standing her ground and springing back
In many places around the world, drought withers lawns. In Ethiopia, drought withers lives. "When I was young, I was beautiful," says 50-year-old Zesino Mohamed Shiro. "But years of drought and not having enough to eat makes you old."
Ethiopia: What’s beyond Paradise
North Korea: Demystifying our work in North Korea
In North Korea, Mercy Corps programs focus on alleviating hunger by expanding agricultural production. We also invite North Korean officials to the U.S. as part of building a humanitarian bridge between our country and theirs.
Haiti: Bringing food to Haiti's hungry families
Families in Haiti’s Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite have been going hungry – not because food is not available, but because they cannot afford it.
Kyrgyzstan: VIDEO: But you don't have to take MY word for it!
The decision process that goes into making a charitable contribution is different for each person. Still, most responsible donors have one thing in common — they want to know that their money is being used to help the intended recipients and that the programs being provided are beneficial.
Kosovo: Making the economy buzz
Ali Rama is a 50-year-old beekeeper from the Vushtri Municipality in northern Kosovo. While Ali has enjoyed relative success in his honey production and sales for the last 10 years, he was looking to expand his business into new opportunities.