Actor Isaiah Washington Helps Children In Sierra Leone

Actor Isaiah Washington has launched a new campaign through his Gondobay Manga Foundation and is aiming to help improve the lives of one million children in Sierra Leone.

With the “Reach One Million” campaign, Washington is hoping to raise a minimum of $250,000 to help with social and economic issues in the West African republic.

The new campaign, which Washington announced on his 45th birthday, will seek to educate the American public on the difficult conditions faced by Sierra Leonean children.

Known for his appearances in such films as Crooklyn, Romeo Must Die, Bulworth, and Exit Wounds, as well as ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Washington has dedicated himself to the people of Sierra Leone.

He recently learned of his genetic link to the country’s Mende tribe.

"This is a historical moment in time for me, the people of Sierra Leone, and Africa," Washington said. "DNA has memory and we all can do our part to make life a little better for those less fortunate. While I am very much focused on helping the underserved here at home, it's also important to me now that I know where I come from, to help my people in Sierra Leone as well."

With close to a third of the country’s 6.3 million inhabitants unable to meet basic food requirements and 47% of children under the age of 5 suffering from malaria, Reach One Million is challenging Americans to get involved.

Through the website, which went live Monday (Aug 4), the organization asks donors to contribute $5 to $5000 to help provide food, education, protection from malaria and clean drinking water to the children of Sierra Leone.

In addition to The Gondobay Manga Foundation, which works towards helping the impoverished nation reach sustainability, Washington also opened a school near the village of Njala Kendema in 2007.

The Chief Foday Golia Memorial School now serves 300 students out of a population of over 2,000 people from six neighboring villages.

Later this year, Washington will appear opposite Forest Whitaker, Taraji P. Henson, Bow Wow and Lil’ Wayne in the Hurricane Katrina-inspired sports drama Hurricane Season.