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 labour force and social fabric. Because employment alone cannot absorb such a surge in labour 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:
Syria: Adolescence Lost: Forced Adulthood and a Fragile Future for Syria's Next Generation
This study focuses on older adolescents, aged 14 to 19 years, to understand the conflict from their perspective and its consequences for their individual futures and the future of Syria.
Afghanistan, Somalia: Driven to Leave: Aid and Migration
Somalia: IF YOUTH ARE GIVEN THE CHANCE: Effects of Education and Civic Engagement on Somali Youth Support of Political Violence
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Beyond Cash: Making Markets Work in Crisis
Outlining a better approach to crisis response
Central African Republic: Conflict Analysis in Bouar, CAR
Mercy Corps in the Central African Republic (CAR) recently carried out a conflict analysis which provides an in-depth look at the actors, interests, and drivers of conflict in the Bouar region, while also providing recommendations aimed at de-escalating the conflict.
Afghanistan: Can Economic Interventions Reduce Violence?
Impacts of vocational training and cash transfers on youth support for political violence in Afghanistan.
Kyrgyzstan: Vulnerable to Manipulation
Research conducted by Mercy Corps and Foundation for Tolerance International in the Kyrgyz Republic explores risk factors for youth participation in violence.
Young People in the Global Compact on Refugees
Mercy Corps provides recommendations for key practices to protect young refugees.
Mali: “We Hope and We Fight”: Youth, Communities, and Violence in Mali
This research informs a set of actionable recommendations for policymakers, donors, and civil society organizations for increasing the likelihood of the peace process’s success through investments aimed at preventing youth participation in violence in both the short and long terms.
Engaging Young People in Governance
Mercy Corps' new report outlining our approach to increasing youth participation in community decision-making and governance processes.