This humanitarian champions education in emergencies for the future of Ukraine’s children

Thrice-displaced, Mykola stays in Ukraine to serve people in need as crisist continues. His main efforts aimed at developing quality programming focused on education in emergencies for children.

Difficult times always give you a chance to improve yourself and your skills. Tough times create strong people and strong leaders,” says Mykola Holyk, World Vision’s project manager for Education in Emergencies Project in Ukraine.

He was among the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who survived three evacuations since 2014. It started during the war in February 2014 while working in the Crimean Peninsula. It was his first experience of an evacuation.

Mykola strongly supports the program that enhances the skills of Ukraine's teachers for the children's future.


“I was forced to leave Crimea with great sadness and hopes to return someday. My family went through the second evacuation on 21 July 2014, on my birthday, when we were evacuated from Severodonetsk to Vinnytsia. The third one was on March in 2022,” he shares.

According to the OCHA report, more than five million people in Ukraine are internally displaced and had to find a new home inside Ukraine.

This ongoing war has greatly affected Mykola’s family. He recalls that the impact has been always different but devastating just the same. Despite this, they decided to stay in the country and help their countrymen.

Together with his team in the Education in Emergencies Project, the goal is to build the capacity of the teachers and provide Ukrainian children with quality education.


I am proud and happy that we managed to keep our family strong despite the challenges. Our children go to school and kindergarten. Both me and my wife work for humanitarian organizations with common desire to help other people in need,” explains Mykola.

If we do not teach our children, and do not provide them with best teaching methods and learning tools, all the sacrifices of the country will be in vain.

Mykola became a part of World Vision in September 2022 and led the education project. As a father of two young sons, he was always interested on instilling education well for children believing it is important even during emergencies.

“If we do not teach our children now, and do not provide them with best teaching methods and learning tools, all the sacrifices and suffering of the country will be in vain,” says Mykola.

Briefing World Vision's team about the challenges and gains of the project.


The project he manages is aimed at providing access for vulnerable boys and girls to formal and non-formal education and build teachers’ capacity.

He adds, “In this challenging time, we need to improve the quality of education for children, improve access to education, and modernize approaches and methods of education. All this will allow us to make our children's lives better.

"I hope that this project will continue and there will be more focus on education. I believe Ukrainian children urgently need them. I am very grateful to the donors, partners and all the people who responded so quickly to support the people of Ukraine," says Mykola. 

Mykola believes that the sacrifices the Ukrainian people continues to endure should not be in vain and one way of support is quality education for the country's future leaders.


In the midst of the war, he is determined to face the challenges to help children and families who stayed behind, and dreams of coming back to his hometown very soon.

He concludes with gratitude, “I am amazed at the speed with which people around the world volunteered to help our country. The support gives us the strength to stand strong for the future of our children and the future of our country.”

Related story: Enhancing teachers' resilience through education in emergencies program

Story and photos by Oleksandra Shapkina, Communications Officer