Mercy Corps partners with young people (10-24 yrs) to build stronger, more peaceful and productive communities. We believe that if young people learn relevant knowledge and skills, and engage socially, peacefullly and economically, then they will be able to lead secure and productive lives.
Our world is currently home to nearly 1.8 billion young people 10-24 years old, more than any other time in human history. The vast majority of them – nine out of ten – live in less developed countries where economic, civic and social opportunities are insufficient to address the diverse needs of transitioning to adulthood. Others are facing this transition while living in prolonged humanitarian crisis that presents significant challenges to their safety and well-being in the form of forced migration, recruitment, and crime, and early marriage and pregnancy for adolescent girls. These circumstances impede young people’s ability to contribute to their country’s growth and stability. They demand our attention, support and action, as their life choices will fundamentally influence the chances for stability and productivity in the world’s most challenging places.
Global peace and prosperity will be determined by how well young people are integrated into both the labor force and social fabric. Because employment alone cannot absorb such a surge in labor supply, youth energy must be channeled towards other productive activities in their community. Our greatest challenge today is to provide young people with the capacities and opportunities they need to drive and sustain development. Fortunately, young people are hungry to make a difference and represent an extraordinary window of opportunity to propel profound change in the world.
To learn how we help young people rise to the challenge of making a successful transition to adulthood, take a look at the following information:
Youth As Agents of Positive Change
In many of the places Mercy Corps works, youth represent more than half the population.
Kenya, Liberia, Uganda, Zimbabwe: Why Youth Fight
Whether as victims or perpetrators, youth are often at the center of violent disputes.
Youth Programming in Transitional Environments
Mercy Corps is working with nearly 3 million young people in some of the world’s toughest transitional environments – including Afghanistan, Somalia, Colombia and Yemen.
Yemen: Promoting Youth Employment in Yemen
Young people in Yemen face extreme challenges in improving their economic situation.
Nigeria: Adolescent Girls in Northern Nigeria: Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Opportunities
Adolescent Girls in Northern Nigeria: Financial Inclusion and Entrepreneurship Opportunities Profile profiled 1,800 adolescent girls (ages 15 to 19) and private sector actors across the northern Ni
Somalia: Examining the Links between Youth Economic Opportunity, Civic Engagement and Conflict
Somali youth hold the potential to contribute to positive change in their country. However, currently they are also the majority of the participants in militant and criminal groups.
Jordan, Lebanon: Youth from Jordan and Lebanon promote cultural heritage
Mercy Corps Lebanon and Jordan implemented the European Commission-funded project “Foundations for a Strong Future: Youth in Lebanon and Jordan Promote Cultural Heritage” in partnership with four l
Civic Engagement of Youth in the Middle East and North Africa
In the wake of the Arab Awakening, Mercy Corps and other agencies are grappling with the question: How can the recent surge of self-assertion and of political activism by Arab youth be harnessed to
India: Youth Entrepreneurship in Kashmir: Challenges and Opportunities
The attached document was produced by Mercy Corps Kashmir in July 2011 and is part of the Start-Up Kashmir Youth Entrepreneurship project in Kashmir (SKYE program).
Japan: Comfort for Kids Japan materials
Comfort For Kids helps mitigate the psychological and social impacts children experience after disasters.