As the great-grandson of a pawnbroker, who made his fortune buying up shops in London suburbs, Michael Amherst could have chosen to blow his inheritance on drink, drugs or a small yacht. But at 25, he chose instead to invest £300,000 in founding Avonbrook Projects Abroad, a charity that promotes sustainable educational ventures in Africa and the developing world.
His peers are cast as the “Me Generation”, for whom little exists beyond The X Factor and updating their Facebook entries. Yet now, as Live Earth concerts make climate change and social responsibility cool among 16 to 25-year-olds, a new generation is developing a social conscience and new sense of philanthropy.
A recent survey by the Future Foundation found that a fifth of teenagers questioned saw themselves as “hardcore greens”, demonstrating that climate change and eco living are no longer fringe issues and last week 45 per cent of 16 to 25 year-olds questioned by the youth volunteering outfit, vinspired.com, said that they believed the world is too materialistic.
[Excerpt of an article by Alexandra Blair, The Times ( London )]