Chris Kovacs

Chris Kovacs ()

RAF LAKENHEATH — If it’s up to Chris Kovacs, a senior at Lakenheath High School, he’ll avoid college next semester.

The 17-year-old has his heart set on spending a year in South Africa. He won’t be taking a long, drawn-out African safari, but will be volunteering his time at a Boys’ Town complex along the southern coast near Tongaat.

“I’m hoping it will give me a different view on life,” he said.

The effort is coordinated by a Scottish charity called Project Trust.

Chris would work with another volunteer to interact with 6- to 16-year-old boys who have been described as neglected and problematic.

“We will have to hold our ground, get their respect and keep them under control,” he said.

The volunteers also will contribute to all aspects of Boys’ Town life, including supervision, play, homework, administration and fundraising.

But for every hope and dream, there’s an obstacle. In his case, it’s financial — 3,950 pounds, to be exact, for transportation, lodging and other expenses. He has already scrounged up 250 pounds.

Along the way, he hit a few roadblocks regarding base policy on individual fundraisers.

“I was not allowed to do a car wash or raise money individually on base,” he said.

At student group at Lakenheath has stepped in to see if they can allow Kovacs to raise funds through them.

“Right now, we’re in the process of doing that,” William Dawson, faculty adviser to the Environmental Humanitarian Organization, said.

“Chris is a great young man who will do well working with kids in South Africa. I think it’s a worthy cause,” Dawson said.

Dawson wrote Kovacs’ recommendation letter to Project Trust.

Kovacs is raising money by recycling used cell phones but is always looking for new fundraising ideas and donations.

“I would like some help any way possible,” he said.

Anyone interested in Chris’ cause can go to or contact him by phone (01638 71 8817) or e-mail ( Project Trust’s Web site is

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up