A firefighter out of Eagle, Idaho, with a strong impulse to give, steps outside the comfort of his home to help bring comfort to those in Kenya.
It isn’t Rob Shoplock’s first time in the country, and he says it won’t be his last, “If I could go over there every year, I would. It’s almost like going home in a way,” says Shoplock.
He has taken his skills learned as a firefighter on humanitarian trips to Kenya four times since 2011. The most recent was in June of this year with his 14-year-old daughter, Isabel, who was thrilled at the experiences she had, “Even just changing their lives just by smiling just driving down the road, you see kids on the side of the road, and they're just so happy,” says Isabel.
A people internally displaced as a result of tribal clashes, meaning they were forced to flee the place they have always called home, while remaining within their countries borders, with nothing but each other.
Shoplock says, “They were sort of a forgotten about people. They were basically given land by the government and placed.”
Forgotten but found by Expansion International, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to transforming Kenyan communities, from right here in Boise. With the help of the organization and the 26 volunteers that sacrificed over two weeks out of their lives to help, they turned their shack living quarters into two bedroom, brick homes.
And they didn’t just build homes; they build relationships. "When I got off the bus, the chief of the tribe just looked over with a big grin and said 'Rob, it's so good to see you.’,” says Shoplock.
They also provided the medical care the Kenyan people desperately needed but had no access to, Shoplock says, "This year was really exciting because we were part of a groundbreaking for a new clinic... it's something where the people in the community can come get free healthcare.”
Kenya has now become a place with a group of people the Shoplock’s can’t go without seeing.
If you want to learn more about the Kenyan missions or donate to the cause, head to ExpansionInternational.org.