As events continue to unfold that disrupt Myanmar’s transition to democracy, Cultural Vistas wishes to extend its thoughts and concerns to all who are affected by the tragic turn towards violence. Democracy is always a work in progress, and we recognize that many of our communities across the globe are united in fighting against severe assaults on the values we hold most dear.
As always, we believe that international exchange and diplomatic solutions are the best bridges to overcome divides. Cultural Vistas is actively working to develop diplomatic relationships in Myanmar. Since 2015 we have supported 67 participants from the country and we are especially proud of the outstanding work that has been achieved during this time.
One of the biggest success stories in the region is The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), one of several initiatives the United States government employs around the globe to cultivate rising leaders. Myanmar has been represented in each year’s cohort of the YSEALI Seeds for the Future grantees that we’ve managed. The small grants are aimed at implementing projects in the region that address one or more of the four pillars– Education, Sustainable Development, Economic Growth, and Civic Engagement.
Our participants in Myanmar have demonstrated their commitment to civil society through a variety of impactful projects. In 2020, small-grant recipient Yes to VOW provided accurate information on reproductive health education and rights for youths in low-income communities while SAYA empowered self-learners from Myanmar to improve their English through an app-based interactive contextual learning. Previous years grant recipients have helped combat waste management in public schools, supported STEAM learning through unique computer programing and provided environmental education to indigenous youths.
These projects are just a few of the many examples of youth in Myanmar working to create a more-engaged citizenry seeking to come together to address problems faced by people in their community and across Myanmar.
We celebrate the effort of this rising corps of Myanmar youth and wish the best for their health and well-being during this troubling time. Cultural Vistas remains committed to continuing to the YSEALI Seeds for the Future generation to get through this crisis.