As you know, we recently announced our millionth sponsored child. Now, I won’t tell you a lot of random facts about 1 million.
Like how long it would take you to count to 1 million (14 days).
Or how much 1 million dollar bills weigh (2,204 pounds).
Because as important as 1 million is, and as huge of a milestone as 1 million sponsored children is, it’s really just about one child.
And a few weeks ago, I got to meet that one child — Fellow Blewussi Kpodo. He lives in a dusty community just outside of Lomé, Togo.
Fellow’s whole family had come out for our meeting. His father stood proudly, his arm on the shoulder of his oldest son. Fellow’s two older sisters darted in and out of the house, covering their faces and giggling at the sight of my pale skin. His younger brother made himself at home in my lap.
All the while, Fellow watched the commotion with his solemn brown eyes.
I stared at his eyes when he wasn’t looking. Fringed with dark eyelashes, I wondered at what they had seen.
They had watched his father battered by grief when Fellow’s mother died five years ago.
They had filled with tears when the headmaster sent him home from school because he didn’t have his school fees — again.
They had stung with smoke as he bent over the small fire he prepared every evening for his sisters to cook cassava and dried fish for dinner.
And now, those same eyes sought out mine.
“He has a question for you,” explained the interpreter. I nodded. “He wants to know if you know his sponsor.”
I grinned at Fellow, and for the first time a smile reached his eyes.
“I don’t know her,” I explained. “But I know that you are very special to her.”
And in that moment, everything else faded away. Fellow wasn’t one of a million children. He was just one.
One more step toward changing the world.
“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” – Pablo Casals