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2023 YSEALI Seeds for the Future Grant Recipients Launch Projects

The Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) Seeds for the Future Small Grants Competition is excited to announce the 2023 grantee winners! There are 14 winning teams that represent the 11 YSEALI member countries. Each were awarded up to $15,000 to fund their projects, which are focused on the themes of civic engagement, economic empowerment and social entrepreneurship, education, or the environment. Singapore’s The Southeast Asia Exchange will seek to transform attitudes about Southeast Asia by creating a welcoming and collaborative space for high school students to engage in cross-country dialogue and rediscover their personal connections to the region.

In Timor-Leste, #SEAReader, comprised of team members from Cambodia and the Philippines, will work with education majors and others to help build reading and literacy skills among high school students.

These are just some of the regional projects that will be funded through YSEALI Seeds to showcase the power of the Southeast Asian community.

The 2023 YSEALI Seeds kick-off workshop in Kuala Lumpur on March 15-17, 2023, was the first in-person event for grantees since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop, hosted by Cultural Vistas, featured several trainings on project management, reporting, budgeting, social media promotion, and monitoring and evaluation techniques. During the workshop, the grantees had the opportunity to share their project action plans with their fellow grantees and solicit feedback, learn from the experiences of alumni, build outside partnerships, practice soft skills, and more.

 “I felt as if I were in this project alone before coming to the workshop” says Panha Suon, project leader for Dassatek’s “Awakening Young Farmers” from Cambodia. “I didn’t know what to expect but feeling pressured and anxious about all the work to get my project running successfully. I didn’t feel confident and ready. After attending the workshop, I knew for sure that I was not in this alone.”

The YSEALI Seeds kick-off workshop provided beneficial insight, expert mentorship, and tools to prepare the grantees to implement and execute their projects in 2023. “The sharing sessions from previous year alumni were very helpful. Not only did they provide me with practical tools but also inspiring stories as a source of motivation to tap into whenever I needed throughout my project implementation.”

This event was the beginning of their exciting journey and the YSEALI Seeds team is thrilled to be able to provide support throughout the year! “I am building the life I’ve always dreamt of living; shaping a world for many generations to come. YSEALI Seeds for the Future grant planted a seed of the agricultural and ecological movement not just for 2023, but for decades to come. I am genuinely grateful for YSEALI for believing in this movement.”

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Seeds for the Future program is a small grants competition to support innovative initiatives in Southeast Asia. It provides funding for the region’s most promising young leaders to carry out projects that improve their communities, countries, and the region across the program themes of Civic Engagement, Education, Economic Growth, and Sustainable Development.

Cultural Vistas began administering the program in 2017 and this is its seventh year.

The YSEALI community consists of bright young leaders, between 18–35 years old, from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam who are making a difference in their communities, countries, and the region. Learn more about the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative here.

“The 3-day kick-off workshop was my very first international experience in which I had a chance to push myself to the limits” says Linh Ngo, Project Leader for “The Classroom Circle Project” from Vietnam. “For the first time, I pitched the idea of The Classroom Circle project on a regional stage in front of many international friends. The support of the organizing committee has encouraged my confidence so I could bravely show the world my baby steps in learning and applying restorative practices to transform the school culture and climate in Vietnam.”

YSEALI Seeds for the Future 2023 Grant Recipients

Brunei RETHINK Mental Health Cambodia Dassatek “Awakening Young Farmer” Indonesia SETARA Project Indonesia Sekolah Adat Arus Kualan Laos Cofarm – Farm for Local Malaysia EcoCupid Myanmar The First Jam (Urban Movement) Philippines SIDHI (Science Integrated Direction for High School Investigators) Mentorship Philippines Bukidnon Seed Stewards Project Singapore The Southeast Asia Exchange Thailand Safe Hug Thailand Timor-Leste #SEAReader Vietnam “The Classroom Circle” Project Vietnam Recycle Dalat