Developing world 'more optimistic'

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The Independent Online
YOUNG people in Britain are less optimistic about the future than their counterparts in developing countries, a survey has revealed, writes Fran Abrams.

One-third of British 15- year-olds think the world will be a better place by 2000, compared with two-thirds in the Third World.

The survey of 1,500 youngsters who will be 21 at the turn of the century was carried out by Voluntary Service Overseas, which sends British people to share their skills with others in poorer countries.

When asked about their own aspirations for 2000, more than half the students in the developing world said they wanted to be in further education. In Britain, just one in 10 wanted to be in education, while one-third simply wanted a secure job.

Asked what they would buy if they had savings, one in five of those in developing countries said they would spend their money on books. In Britain, none of the young people wanted to buy books.

Both groups believed that HIV and Aids would pose the biggest threat to world health and students in poorer countries believed they could teach their better-off counterparts how to live in harmony with the natural environment and how to value hard work.

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