Nikita is not a football player. However, he strongly believes in the power of the sport and the potential it has on providing psycho-social support for children. Instead of using his skills to work abroad, he decided to stay in Ukraine and help those most affected by the conflict – the children.


Nikita lives in Severodonetsk, East Ukraine. He is a field officer for Terre des Hommes, a well-known Swiss NGO. Together with his team he helps children to deal with the trauma of the armed conflict in Ukraine. After the Young Coach Education, they adapted the programmes they run in schools, now using football and educational games for psycho-social support.


Project: Ukraine, October 2016 – May 2017

Parent Organisation: Terre des Hommes

Born: 1993

Nationality: Ukraine


Project Ukraine | Facts
Peer Young Coaches
Benefiting Children


“To be honest, I am not a football player. Really, I am actually quite far away from football. But I do realize that football is a strong tool to teach children really important things. That is why I took part in this programme. I wanted to learn about football methodology and the different techniques. The training has given me tools and knowledge on how to make children smile, teach them to solve problems, cooperate, work as a team, to develop leadership qualities and many, many other things. Things that they will need in their everyday life.

It is not an easy time to be a child and growing up in Eastern Ukraine. Two years ago, I had a choice. To stay in Spain after my social internship, or to come back to my home country. A few children died in my native town Shakhtarsk because of anti-personnel mines. This is one of the reasons I had chosen to come back. I couldn’t step aside from what was happening, and I understood that the greatest motivation for me is to make children smile.

That is why I started to work as a field officer for Terre des Hommes. As part of our work in Ukraine, we run a programme on psycho-social support for children in Eastern Ukraine. Everything I learned at this education, I will share with my colleagues so that we can use it in our “Youth Activation Sessions” that we run in schools. We have already developed new games for our psycho-social support programme, especially activities based on the ‘Football Fun Games’ that we were taught during our education.

Using football to help children relieve stress is a completely new approach for us. When they play, they smile, they have energy, they forget what is going on around them. That is why it is so important to work AND play with children, especially in Eastern Ukraine.”


Young Coaches

Our Young Coaches are community leaders and role models in less privileged societies. They commit themselves to support the children of their communities by conveying important social topics (conflict resolution, inclusion, HIV prevention, etc.) through football. Each of the Young Coaches represents a unique personal story.