Service before Self

5 mins read

Promoted Burton Captain deflects attention to children he’s trying to save

Burton Fire District Captain Bobby Davidson was promoted to his current rank during a ceremony last week that was attended by coworkers, family, and friends, but the newly promoted fire officer’s thoughts were not only with his new responsibility for lives in Beaufort County, but the lives of his children abroad.  

Davidson, an Air Force combat veteran, has been a Burton firefighter for a decade now and has progressed through the ranks with the respect, support, and admiration of his chief and peers. His involvement within the department, which includes being the unofficial department chaplain, and his work in the local community, has twice earned him department honors. In 2010, Davidson was selected as Burton’s Firefighter of the Year by the department, and again in 2015, he was selected as the Fire Officer of the Year. While Davidson goes above and beyond for his firefighters and community here in South Carolina, his thoughts and efforts are abroad with the children he also fights to save every day.  

Davidson, and his wife, Kelly, started a local mission here in Beaufort called the Asaph Project, whose goal is “saving lives, one child at a time.” While on a church mission to South Sudan, Africa, Davidson witnessed such suffering and death in a town called Kibera that he called his wife and told her, “People are dying everywhere.” The lifesaving and action-orientated firefighter in Davidson came out and the Davidsons started their local mission here to save the children of Kibera. Davidson and his wife work through a pastor and church in Kibera that houses the homeless and cares for children whose parents have left in search of work.   

The Davidsons have funded their own travels to Kibera more than a dozen times, bringing donations and help to the local population. During the first year of their mission six children died of malnutrition, and after four years later it has been more than 2 1/2 years since a malnourished child has died. Additionally, several homeless teens are now in school and self-sufficient. Davidson recalls a Kibera mission worker that was near death after a motor vehicle accident and receiving substandard medical care. The Davidsons’ mission paid for that worker’s medical evacuation and for proper medical attention, and the worker made a slow, but successful, recovery.  

“To have such a person and family in our department, who sacrifices so much to save lives here, to then to give of themselves with the awesome challenge of saving lives in another country thousands of miles away, is truly humbling for me,” said Burton Fire Chief Harry Rountree. “There are children alive in Kibera today, and lives made better today, because of Bobby and his family. Our profession is a family calling, and thankfully, the Davidsons answered.”  

The Davidsons’ son, Chase, is also a Burton firefighter.  

According to the Davidsons, $1 equals a day’s pay for the citizens of Kibera, and even small donations can go a long way in making a difference in the lives of the children there. Those wishing to donate to the Davidsons’ mission can do so by visiting any local Regions Bank and donating to the Asaph Project, or visit their Facebook page, “Hope for Kibera Kids,” for more information and a PayPal link. 

Burton Lieutenant Alex Murray, a Marine Corps veteran himself who has worked with Captain Davidson since they were both firefighters together, said, “He served in his country, and I have seen him give so much to the people here in Beaufort County, up to and including risking his life. The least we can do is try and support his efforts to save the children of Kibera.” 

Photo at top: Captain Davidson with children in Africa.

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