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Welcome to YoPA

Youth-centred Participatory Action

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Welcome to YoPA –Youth-centred Participatory Action!
We are a pioneering initiative that addresses the multifaceted challenges of physical inactivity and health inequalities through a unique participatory approach that values inclusivity and diversity.  

We recognize that physical inactivity and poor lifestyle choices among teenagers can lead to various diseases, both physical and mental. Therefore, our project places teenagers between 12 and 18 years old in vulnerable situations at the forefront of the intervention process. By doing so, we aim to execute and evaluate systemic interventions that are tailored to the specific needs and contexts of local communities.  

At YoPA, we believe in empowering young people to take charge of their health and well-being. Our youth-led participatory action research (YPAR) process is designed to achieve this goal, also developing leadership and problem-solving skills in young people, and enable them to become catalysts for positive change. Our infrastructure, which includes capacity building, mentoring, and participation of teenagers as leaders and co-researchers, will be located in four cities: Aalborg (DK), Amsterdam (NL), Osogbo (NG), and Soweto (ZA), from 2023 to 2025.  

We are committed to ensuring inclusivity and diversity in all aspects of our initiative. This approach will lead to sustainable solutions that improve the lifestyle and associated healthcare costs of teenagers from all backgrounds.

Funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe Programme


The identification of four major challenges by the YoPA consortium highlights the intricate nature of the topic and the need for their resolution to advance the reduction of non-communicable disease risks among adolescents and youth. 

Challenge 1: Physical activity levels and health inequalities in teenagers continue to worsen
Promoting healthy movement behaviors in teenagers is critical due to worsening physical activity levels and health inequalities, with most failing to meet recommended guidelines, and physical activity levels decreasing while screen time increases during adolescence.
Challenge 2: Increasing population density in urban areas limits space for sports and outdoor play
Investing in active urban design is crucial to promote physical activity and providing fair access to recreational facilities and amenities, even in densely populated urban areas.
Challenge 3: Traditional individual-level interventions with short-term solutions are less sustainable
To attain sustainable enhancements in health equity and well-being, a comprehensive approach that incorporates the social and physical environments and their impact on health behavior is required.
Challenge 4: Top-down implemented, one-size-fits-all interventions are ineffective
Individual-level interventions that rely on short-term solutions have proven to be unsustainable because they neglect the social and physical environmental factors that either facilitate or impede physical activity, as well as frequently failing to cater to their specific needs and interests.