JAKARTA, Indonesia — Where in the world is Ethan Zohn? Tracking down the Grassroot Soccer co-founder can be a tricky task. His latest venture has brought him to Jakarta, Indonesia, where he’s representing both himself – as a cancer survivor with a powerful message – and the mission of Grassroot Soccer. The visit is part of an official goodwill mission, facilitated by the U.S. Department of State.

This particular Sports Diplomacy initiative encourages people-to-people discussion, two-way learning, and better understanding between Americans and Indonesians. Zohn’s personal stories of strength through adversity and the importance of community-based leadership through sport-based programming like Grassroot Soccer were well-received; Uphie Abdurrahman, U.S. Department of State facilitator and translator, stressed that those who attended Zohn’s visit to the Daarul Muttaqien school in Tangerang were “particularly enamored.”

At the core of the visit is the drive to empower individuals in need of a morale boost; additionally, there is a pressing, recognized desire to engage communities through soccer. For many, Zohn’s messages around cancer and Grassroot Soccer’s work with HIV and AIDS hit particularly close to home. The photos below, taken during the Changing the World Through Soccer! presentation, provide a more vivid look into the visit.

All images used with generous permission from Uphie Abdurrahman.

For additional resources surrounding the goodwill mission, coverage from local outlets can be found at the following links. Please note that all are written in Indonesian, although some web browsers will accommodate automatic translation to English:

American Soccer Star Tracks the League

Santri Please to Learn Soccer Skills from Ethan Zohn

Former Captain from the US Trains Athletes in Santri League in Tangerang

US Football Star Able to Rise After Cancer

Want to learn more? Find out how Grassroot Soccer is addressing HIV and youth development. To stay up to date on news, impact stories, and ways you can help change the game for young people, subscribe to our newsletter.