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Nigeria and indeed Africa’s greatest need are leaders- individuals that understand that leadership is not about positions, but is all about positive contributions to the lives of others. Indeed, there is a dearth of true leaders, and a major lack of awareness on what true leadership is, especially amongst the younger generation.
Our needs assessment campaign across several High Schools (both public and private establishments) revealed the following:
  • A lack of awareness and understanding of what true leadership is.
  • No conscious, strategic and systematic plan or approach to develop leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • Our educations system is not consciously training thinkers or problems solvers, just people that can cram lessons and pass exams.
  • Most teenagers go through school without discovering themselves- their talents, gifts, passions and possible career aspiration.
  • There is inadequate inspiration and motivation amongst teenagers to excel and be exceptional beyond academics.
  • Most high school seniors don’t have a grip of personal mastery and personal effectiveness principles e.g. time management, and goal setting.


C.I.T.Y is an acronym for ‘Catch and Inspire Them Young’. It is a mind development and character shaping transformation program targeted at teenagers which runs in several public and private high schools in Nigeria. It is primarily aimed at re-orientating the minds of teenagers in the areas of personal mastery, leadership, educational excellence, national development consciousness and entrepreneurship. C.I.T.Y received the Lagos State Governor’s Award, in March 2014 in recognition of its impact to the state’s Support Our Schools initiative. The C.I.T.Y objectives are achieved through a mix of week-day and weekend leadership boot-camps, competitions, and the annual summer leadership camp. H.O.P.E’s work through C.I.T.Y and its other initiatives contribute primarily to the 4th, 10th, and 16th goal of the SDGs by ensuring access to quality education, promoting peace and advancing equality through a carefully designed learning and development intervention.


50% of Nigerians are below 18 years. Our goal through C.I.T.Y is to turn majority of this demography (13-18) into social change agents. C.I.T.Y’s uniqueness lies in the design of its curriculum and its mode of delivery. Our learning and development curriculum and delivery is a creative adaptation of the experiential learning model (ELM), developed by David A. Kolb and Ron Fry. Attendees would have concrete experiences and engage in active experimentations by participating in case challenges, attending workshops, and competing in several developmental competitions. Also, several seminars and training sessions have been built to engage the campers in reflective observations and abstract conceptualisations on the subject of leadership and other topics across our thematic areas.
Furthermore, to achieve our goals we make extensive use of story-telling techniques, mnemonics, videos, case studies, several carefully designed class exercises, team-building activities, excursions, and skill acquisition workshops.