Heartbreak into Action

Katie-Jay Scott and Gabriel Stauring at a Darfur United soccer match. Photo by iAct

To the thousands of STF students and teachers who met and worked with Katie-Jay Scott and Gabriel Stauring,

Last Tuesday evening a local car crash took the lives of our friends Katie-Jay and Gabriel. The devastating news brings not only heartbreak, but also a flood of memories of their actions to spread peace and love. Many of us were blessed to work with these two wonderous humanitarians since 2005. Over the following years, thousands of us followed them via satellite phone transmissions on trips to the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad, and they continually found new ways to introduce us to survivors they befriended in the camps, putting faces and hearts to a distant crisis. We learned from Katie-Jay and Gabriel how to broaden awareness by building Camp Darfurs, and Children’s Rights Camps in our schools, and they worked with us to assemble mobile human rights libraries that traveled in the refugee camps. STFers were inspired to meet with policy makers to press for support for the refugees and ending the genocide. We were all emboldened by Katie-Jay and Gabriel’s call for “Humanity Over Politics.” Once they touched our lives, that can not be taken away.

From the Stauring family comes this message:

“The impact they made in people’s lives is immeasurable. They were exceptional parents, family members, and friends. They were the personification of the word “humanitarian” empowering people around the world — especially refugee communities affected by genocide. The essence of their mission was to create hope through various programs for these communities that ranged from soccer camps to educational programs with the goal to empower the communities they served. Gabriel and Katie-Jay were not bystanders to the injustices around the globe; they initiated change through action.

“The Stauring Family is grateful for the overwhelming expressions of love and support. Your messages are of comfort to our families during these difficult times. Let us all continue living in a community of mutual care in honor of Katie-Jay and Gabriel’s lives. Always in our hearts and minds, their memory will keep us strong.”

May all of us who are grieving, find the strength to turn heartbreak into action,

Pam Bruns, on behalf of the HRW Student Task Force

To learn more about iAct and to help go to: https://www.iact.ngo/

Gabriel met Adam in 2008 in refugee Camp Koukou in eastern Chad. Adam, a teacher, later decided he must go back to Darfur to his embattled home. Despite the dangerous journey, Adam returned to Chad to meet his great friend Gabriel in 2012. (Click to watch their reunion, 3:28)

Learn more:
Crash kills Redondo Beach couple who helped Darfur refugees gain independence through soccer

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