top of page

With the Help of South Bay Supporters, a Soccer Team in Darfur Takes the World Stage with Life-chang

Gabriel Stauring is a humble man, but to many he is a real-life superhero. He is not a professional athlete or celebrity who can call on vast resources to inspire or enact change, but he is driven by a deep desire to help others. His is a story of the power of kindness, which he has proved is a resource that can move mountains and change lives.

This is also a story about the power that sports have to heal us, unite us and simply bring us joy—even in the face of unbelievable hardship. Gabriel’s genius was combining those powers through a love of soccer—or football, as it’s known in many countries. He used soccer as the bridge to cross continent-sized barriers and unite a small South Bay beach community with a desolate refugee camp in Darfur. In the process, he helped uplift the lives of people the world seemed to have forgotten.

It all began in 2004 while Gabriel, a social worker and advocate for children who have been abused and their families, was driving home from his family visits. As usual, he was listening to the radio and had been enthralled and deeply moved by a weeklong NPR series about the 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda.

“It just hit me so hard. I was shocked t