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
Kyrgyzstan: You're going where?
A couple of weeks ago, I began informing my friends and family that I will be spending this summer interning out of Mercy Corps’ Kyrgyzstan office. Apart from the "Borat" jokes (wrong country, folks), general responses have included:
Indonesia: Growing with Kedai Balitaku
I believe that helping people to sell nutritious foods for children is the best strategy to ensure sustainability.
Indonesia: From pushing a pedicab to steering a healthy food cart
His name is Gunanto, or Gun for short. He's 32 years old with two school-aged children. His wife works as a laundry laborer in their Jakarta neighborhood and earns 150,000 Indonesian rupiah — about US$15 — per month.
Colombia: Graduation day in Mocoa
At the end of our day in Putumayo's capital, we stopped by a graduation celebration of sorts. More than 30 people displaced by the armed conflict were marking the end of an 80-hour course in gastronomy with food, music and a dip in the river.
Indonesia: Padang: seven months after the earthquake
“Now I know what to do when an earthquake strikes. I will hide under a table,” said Nisa, a third grader at Coroco elementary school, Pesisir Selatan district, West Sumatra after joining a Mercy Corps earthquake and tsunami awareness session.
West Bank and Gaza: Cash-for-work projects in Gaza – part two
In the late afternoon sunshine, we leave a dusty alley in one of the poorer neighbourhoods of Gaza City, and are welcomed into a small sewing workshop by Ali, the coordinator for this cash-for-work team.
Haiti: A meeting of leaders for recovery in Haiti
Last week Mercy Corps hosted the Haitian Minister of Tourism, Patrick Delatour, in Washington, DC to spur thinking about how the government, private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can work together to promote recovery in Haiti.
West Bank and Gaza: Cash-for-work projects in Gaza – part one
On Sha’af street in Gaza City, twenty-five men work in unison, clearing the rubbish and sweeping away the dust that clogs the side of the road. They're all distinguished by the white caps they wear.
Colombia: Displaced but not disempowered
DR Congo: In Congo, saving trees and lives
Last November and December I was working with Mercy Corps in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I had the chance to make a photo essay on our work that the BBC is featuring on their website.