YHP BRAZIL – Maranhão Programme


Five municipalities in the State of Maranhão in Northern Brazil.


Two phases 2010 – 2012, and 2013 - 2015 in Maranhão.
From 2018 the programme is running in São Paolo.

The local context

Poverty rates in Maranhão are the highest in Brazil. 240,000 adolescents and children are working in the streets and there is a high prevalence of early pregnancy, gender based violence and HIV/AIDs infection.

40% of the population of Brazil are young people aged under 19.

Our objectives

To reach 60,000 adolescents (aged 10-24) directly and, through and with them, families, policy makers, educators and health professionals during the initial two phases (2010 – 2015 inclusive).


Our focus

Reducing unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion and sexual coercion.

Reducing NCD risk behaviours (tobacco smoking, alcohol misuse, poor diet, and lack of exercise).


Our programme

YHP Brazil was run in close cooperation with local schools and health service providers and primarily delivered through Peer Educators, who were trained to engage and communicate with other young people about these health issues.

On the ground campaign activities were supported by radio spots and news articles such as for World AIDS Day.  We also successfully launched our own YHP Brazil campaign: Adolescent Health Week.

A number of these Peer Educators also engaged with local and State officials to improve health services for young people.


Our achievements

State level guidance on health (‘PTA’) has been revised to increase the focus on gender, sexual and reproductive health and youth participation issues. 

93,427 young people were reached directly through outreach activities, and a further 680,000 through wider awareness campaigns.

395 Peer Educators were trained.

793 Community Health Workers took part in training to deliver youth-friendly health facilities.


Our partners

Plan Brazil provides children in Brazil with a healthy start, economic empowerment, and protection against all forms of violence.

Promundo promotes gender equality and seeks to end violence against women, children and youth in Brazil.