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
United States: Building By Dismantling
Rick Denhart, Mercy Corps' New Orleans-based Director of Gulf Coast Hurricane Recovery, has been in construction - and deconstruction - all his life. He started his vocation as a child apprenticing with his father - a builder - who taught him how to take things apart and redo them.
South Sudan: Rebuilding, Brick by Brick
Renk, Southern Sudan — While walking along the emaciated Nile River at the height of last year's dry season, unemployed banker Diew Ajak encountered a curiously constructed brick.
Sri Lanka: Recovery Amid Conflict
Sri Lanka's Ampara District hasn't had time to recover from the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: even as rebulding began, violent conflict engulfed the area, plunging already-shaken families into further turmoil and uncertainty.
Guatemala: Defusing Crisis
Olivia's calm smile says a lot about her life today. However, just a few months ago, the situation was a lot different.
North Korea: Seeing for the first time
For many years, I was privileged to hear firsthand stories of the people of North Korea from my husband, Mercy Corps co-founder Ells Culver.
Indonesia: Rebuilding Peace by Piece
Hunut village, Maluku, Indonesia - Tjak Tohata was getting used to staying in a barn. For almost eight years, the 62-year-old man, his wife and their five children lived in a small shelter that was formerly to house cows.
Sri Lanka: Community groups helping neighbors
Batticaloa District, Sri Lanka - Community groups formed to guide village redevelopment in the wake of the tsunami are now playing a central role in Mercy Corps' distributions of cookware, tarps and other relief items to families fleeing their homes in the face of the country's escalating
India: A New Harvest
Darjeeling tea is one of the world's most enjoyable beverages — but it doesn't come easily to your cup. Tea-growing families in the villages that dot Darjeeling's hillsides work hard just to make ends meet.
Colombia: Gloria and Don Guillermo: A Way Forward
Bogotá, Colombia — When the violence swept through the village of Libano in 2001, Gloria Arieza was in no shape to leave. She had a one-year-old child and a second in her belly. Still, she and her partner, Don Guillermo, had no choice but to flee.
Colombia: Crossing the Bridge
Cartagena, Colombia — White-sand beaches and teal Caribbean waters draw thousands of sun worshippers to the nearby Islas de Rosario, but no tourists have ever stepped foot in the neighborhood locals call "Isla de Leon."