Greater Lisbon area.


Phase I 2012-15; Phase II 2017-2018

The local context

The economic crisis hit many families in Portugal with rising unemployment rates and increased poverty. Many vulnerable, disadvantaged young people aged 10 to 12 years experience behavioural problems, and low self-esteem, and limited access to healthcare.

Our objectives

Encourage young people to take control of their health and well-being, build self-reliance and self-respect and thereby avoid future risk behaviours.


Our focus

Health and mental well-being of vulnerable pre-teens.


Our programme

During Phase I we ran thematic workshops in informal settings, focusing on recreational, sports and self-expression activities. These were delivered by a multidisciplinary team, using a peer education methodology, with personalised and specialised support.

Research was conducted amongst 113 school children to assess their attitudes to mental health in order to prioritise their information needs and provide a baseline to evaluate programme outcomes.

Phase II builds on this work, strengthening links with the Portuguese national government’s Choices Programme, which aims to promote social inclusion for children and young people. Partnerships are being developed with neighbourhood and community associations, with recreational and sports associations, health centres and parish councils, and with local and national government bodies to provide physical spaces for workshops and activities and health information and education materials.

We are training 20 peer educators to plan, organise and drive NCD awareness sessions in their schools. The peer educators are also creating and maintaining Facebook pages on the issue of NCDs and young people.

We are also developing an app comprising four short films and a questionnaire to provide them a fun activity that also tests their knowledge. 

Our achievements

A series of ‘Cine Forum’ soap-opera style productions were produced on key topics, each lasting 5 minutes and featuring characters aged 10-12.

All those who participated in the project from the beginning were invited to a holiday camp, with the aim of producing a ‘Manual of Good Practice’.

Young people representing YHP Portugal participated in meetings organised by UNICEF / NCD Child within the framework of the 69th UN General Assembly in New York.


Our Partners

Médicos do Mundo (MdM) is a non- governmental organisation with a mission to provide healthcare to the most vulnerable in society, both in emergency situations and to combat social exclusion.