Hometown Hero: Burton Fire Captain operates mission for African children

Hometown Hero: Burton Fire Captain operates mission for African children

BURTON, SC (WTOC) - It wasn't until a local firefighter rose to the rank of captain that some of his coworkers discovered he has some pretty impressive credentials outside of work.

Bobby Davidson saves lives for a living - and in his spare time.

"We started with the basics. We just tried to get them two meals a day."

The recently promoted captain of the Burton Fire District also operates a local mission with his wife, Kelly. The Asaph Project is dedicated to changing the lives of children in Kibera, considered one of Africa's worst slums, where the children of day laborers are left each morning with a local pastor.

"They have nothing. They own nothing except the clothes that they wear."

These children, some as young as six months old, would literally be laid on the floor of a mud hut and left.

About four years ago, the Davidsons took the money they had saved up for home renovations and instead made the first of what has been a dozen trips to Kibera. In that first year, they witnessed six of the children they were trying to help die from curable diseases.

"Now, it's been four years and we haven't lost a child in two-and-a-half years," Kelly Davidson said.

The Davidsons accept donations and deliver food, clothing, and diapers to the pastor and also installed a freshwater system.

"To see them be able to take baths and play and be children for the first time was amazing."

"There's a difference. We may not see the difference maybe for this whole generation, but hopefully, they'll be breaking that cycle."

"To see these people thriving and to see prayers answered is amazing,"

"It grew from about 20 kids. We have up to 90 now and they eat twice a day."

At home in the Lowcountry, this WTOC Hometown Hero says he sees similar humanitarian qualities in every Burton firefighter.

"These guys might not realize it, but I try to tell them all the time they are missionaries," Capt. Davidson said. "They don't care when the tones drop, they don't know who it is and they don't care who it is. They're going to try to solve a problem and make the day better for whatever call goes out."

In his 10 years with the Burton Fire District, Davidson has been honored as both Firefighter of the Fire and Fire Officer of the Year.

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