A Brush with Hope

Shoe Shine stand in Africa

On the heels of yesterday’s blog, here is another cross-Atlantic story of shared optimism.

Getnet Marsha arrived in the USA as a political refugee from Ethiopia.  He tells stores of traversing three countries on foot while shining his customers’ shoes in the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C.  For $5, Getnet Marsha perfectly performs his 20-step shining process which includes massaging the shoes as though they had knotted muscles. He is a craftsman.

More recently, his vocation has led him down the path of becoming a philanthropist. While vacationing in Addis Ababa, Mr. Marsha met a 9-year-old orphan girl who lived on the streets. ‘Street Invest’, a British charity, estimates there are about 12,000 such children in Addis. Marsha decided to help the young one the only way he knew how: buying her a shoeshine box and teaching her his trade. He also began sending her money. Since then, he says, he has recruited seven other adults in Addis Ababa to care for street children.



See also:

“Closing the gender gap: An Ethiopian girl shines shoes to pay for school” http://www.unicef.org/education/ethiopia_34471.html


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