Changing Africa: Helping Orphans Brings South African Dance, Charity to Indianapolis

Surely you remember those television infomercials featuring sad eyed children with protruding bellies sitting in the detritus of their ruined villages, the commercials with oft repeated pleas for help, the flashing phone numbers on the bottom of the screen, and glowing testimonies of thanks from those affected by whatever charity the commercial is promoting. They’ve always managed to instill just the right amount of guilt without action, enough pathos to say “those poor people,” but not enough to actually do anything about it. The plight of the African children is forgotten as soon as you leave the couch and open the fridge. Well, in March you’ll get your chance to finally make at least a small impact on the citizens of Africa, the country of Zambia specifically. Anchor of Hope Charities, an Indianapolis non-profit organization, will be hosting Changing Africa: Helping Orphans at the Fountain Square Theatre on Saturday, March 19, 2011.

Anchor of Hope Charities was founded in 2008 by Judy Kendall, an Indianapolis resident who saw the myriad struggles of many Zambians and was inspired to help. According to a 2008 survey, there are more than 113,000 refugees living in the relatively small country of Zambia, and most of the country’s population lives in the country’s urban areas. This results in overpopulation, overcrowding, and lots of displaced people and children. Anchor of Hope Charities helps build orphanages, irrigation systems, clinics, classrooms, schools, dorm rooms, and more to improve the quality of life in the impoverished African nation.

Video of Anchor of Hope Charities board member Kevin Donelly discussing Anchor of Hope Charities, the Indianapolis non-profit organization behind the Changing Africa: Helping Orphans events


The goal of Anchor of Hope Charities is more about self-sufficiency than it is about consistent aid; after all, you can give someone a fish and feed them for a day, or teach them to fish and feed them for a lifetime. The schools affiliated with Anchor of Hope Charities teach orphaned children to cook, raise animals, plant crops, and maintain a household, all things that would have been taught by the parents if these children weren’t orphans. Anchor of Hope’s vision is to live in “…a world in which each child has the opportunity to live life fully and to make their unique contribution.”

To support their projects in Zambia and throughout Africa, Anchor of Hope Charities runs many fundraisers and Indianapolis events to raise awareness and funds. Changing Africa: Helping Orphans is just one of these events, a gala affair whose proceeds will go to a shoe drive for a projected 8,000 Zambian citizens. The event, taking place in the Fountain Square cultural district of Indy, will feature a silent auction, an Indianapolis bar, cocktails, and a dinner reception.

But the highlight of the evening will be the South African drummers and dancers who will be providing the gala event’s entertainment in exuberant style. The dance team is the Soweto Street Beat Dance Theatre out of Atlanta, Georgia, an organization that seeks to spread the South African dance tradition throughout the United States with a myriad of educational programs and demonstrations, like the one you’ll see if you attend Changing Africa: Helping Orphans. And you can be sure you won’t find much like it in the Indianapolis music scene.

Video of the Soweto Street Beat dance troupe performing live; Soweto Street Beat will be performing at the Changing Africa: Helping Orphans gala event in Indianapolis


Anchor of Hope Charities’ big gala event, Changing Africa: Helping Orphans, will take place on Saturday, March 19, 2011 at the Fountain Square Theater in the Circle City. This is an optional black tie event, so get dressed to the nines if you’d like. Cocktails from the wet bar will be served around 6:00, and dinner will begin at 7:00. Be sure to stick around after dinner for the Soweto Street Beat performance, the main Indianapolis attraction at this event. You can choose to purchase an individual ticket for $125, or you can sponsor an entire table of ten for $1100; all proceeds go to the aforementioned shoe drive, and you can also spend an extra $5 to ship an individual pair of children’s shoes. Tickets can be purchased by filling out and sending in this RSVP card or by contacting Judy at RSVP’s must be made by February 11, 2011, so make your decision soon. Get a glimpse of South African musical culture at an Indianapolis theater and give just a little to help Zambian orphans at Changing Africa: Helping Orphans on March 19, 2011.

Anchor of Hope Charities Presents Changing Africa: Helping Orphans
Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 6:00
Tickets: $125/individual, $1100/table
Event Homepage

Fountain Square Theatre
1111 Prospect St
Indianapolis, IN 46203

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