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
Kosovo: How a tractor changes everything
The village of Videja is a rural community of 1,000 residents near the Dukagjini Valley, the heart of western Kosovo's agricultural lands.
Kosovo: Not small potatoes
Naim Fejza is a veteran potato farmer in the small town of Mogila in southern Kosovo. For his entire adult life, he and his household — which includes his parents, wife and three children — have eked out a living on the small income from the sales of potatoes on their farm.
Uganda: In northern Uganda, hope springs eternal
As the brutal twenty-year civil war in Uganda has unofficially ended, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have exited Pader — a district in the country’s northern Acholiland — which was for many years at the epicenter of atrocities committed by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
Kyrgyzstan: A fund in Kyrgyzstan to rebuild micro-enterprises
In a quiet Osh neighborhood there stands a torched shop with no roof. The hot afternoon sun shines over what little remains of Nadira Abdusatarova’s once-thriving seamstress business.
Needs Grow As Economic Crisis Spreads
How is the economic crisis affecting you? Most of us are feeling it in some way. We're thinking harder about what we can afford and what we can do without. Routine purchases a few months ago now seem unnecessary or out of financial reach.
Uganda: From our photo library: An 'Easter egg' from Uganda
Staff members send me photos they've come across pretty regularly. The special ones I call "Easter eggs" because they're such a pleasant discovery.
Tajikistan: Sewing for success
Last week I visited Mercy Corps’ first youth employment project to get started under the Tajikistan Stability Enhancement Program, the program I’m assisting with this summer. In the sweltering heat, we entered a small room with five girls working away on sewing machines.
Indonesia: Video: Our Work in Jakarta
There are so many ways to know whether a project could really have an impact in communities that we work in. The most frequent method use is, of course, conduct a base line assessment (output: numbers) and then conduct the end line assessment (output: numbers) and compare the two of them.
Mongolia: D-z-u-d spells "disaster" for Mongolian herders
Ever heard of a "dzud"? It's pronounced zuhd, and it's an extraordinarily harsh Mongolian winter -- the kind where temperatures plummet, animals freeze to death, and you can enter your house only through the roof because that's how high the snow is.
Indonesia: Video: MBAs in action
It’s midnight in the slums of Jakarta. Four intrepid Ivy League co-eds, armed only with a video camera, tiptoe down a dark alley towards a door cracked open just enough to reveal the orange glow of a light within…