YSEALI Seeds for the Future
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, Economic Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship, Education, and Environmental Issues. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. Cultural Vistas began administering the program in 2017.
Learn about YSEALI Seeds grant recipients
Call for Applications Update
The application deadline has passed, applications for the 2022 YSEALI Seeds for the Future grant competition are now closed and under review. All applicants and the winners will be notified via email in February 2022. Follow us on social media to stay informed on Program updates.
The competition, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides funding of up to $15,000. Selected projects will address issues or opportunities related to the core YSEALI themes and will be implemented in one or more of the YSEALI member nations.
Projects of the Month
Activating Local Youth Development Council in the Philippines through civic education.
Empowering Indonesian teachers to create a psychologically safe learning environment.
Meet Our New YSEALI Seeds Grant Recipients
Increasing teacher resiliency in Southeast Asia through technology-enhanced, student-centered teaching approaches
Activating Local Youth Development Council in the Philippines through civic education
Bebas Sampah ID
Building a youth-led participatory waste management platform in Indonesia
Empowering young environmental champions of resilience in the Philippines through capacity development
Bridging the gender data gap in Thailand through storytelling
Hub R Sar
Empowering Laotian youth leaders through intensive bootcamps to facilitate positive change in their provinces
Building a Vietnamese society where mental health is valued
Raising awareness on food consumption and tackling food waste in Brunei Darussalam through workshops and food upcycling projects
Imparting business skills to ASEAN youths through remote tertiary student consulting programs
Developing information and communication technology skills in young orphanage residents in Indonesia through tech-based training and certification
Providing local, Bornean women with the skillset to become ambassadors for preserving their native lands
Creating fun, online, peer-to-peer financial education programs for public high schools
Cultivating entrepreneurship to strengthen the economic resilience of rural, Filipino youth during COVID-19
Purrfect Writers Club
Fostering creativity and expression of underprivileged Myanmar youths to advance their academic and career opportunities
Real Money Real Youth
Helping youth in Myanmar gain essential financial skills needed to build better futures by creating a powerful financial education platform
Right Thing to SEA
Raising awareness of ecosystem services for local youths through marine resource management in Karas, Indonesia
Helping young peacebuilders in the Mindanao region create sustainable change
Bringing literacy and advocacy for social and ecological justice to the indigenous community in the Tengger National Park area
Connecting tech talent with change-makers to bridge the digital divide in Southeast Asia
The Green Dots
Bringing practical greeneries to urban settings through a pilot community garden and participatory activities
Empowering youth towards environmental stewardship through football and experiential learning in Timor-Leste and the Philippines
Creating agency among Malaysian senior citizens by implementing mobile literacy classes that empower their use of technology and encourage them to be independent
Youth in Action for Youth Budget
Increasing Vietnamese youth engagement in national budget development efforts through the art of communication
Creating cultural pride amongst Balinese youth through ancestral land cultivation methods and farming practices
Blog Posts and Press Releases
Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is the U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community of leaders who work across borders to solve common issues.
Approximately 65% of people in the ASEAN region are under the age of 35. YSEALI is an effort to harness the extraordinary potential of youth in the region to address critical challenges and expand opportunities.
The YSEALI community consists of bright young leaders, 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 at yseali.state.gov and join the official YSEALI social media communities on Facebook and Twitter.
The YSEALI Seeds for the Future program is sponsored by U.S. Department of State and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. Cultural Vistas will administer the program through 2020.
Cultural Vistas Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. It develops international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Every year, Cultural Vistas’ 30-plus unique exchange programs empower thousands of individuals and organizations in the United States and more than 135 countries to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society. 212.497.3500 | firstname.lastname@example.org | culturalvistas.org
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I better prepare my YSEALI Seeds application?
We strongly encourage you to join live webinars listed on this website. It is a unique chance to ask your questions first-hand. You can view the previous webinar recordings on Cultural Vistas YouTube channel. Through the webinars you will learn more about creating successful YSEALI Seeds application and budget proposal, as well as receive some advice from the previous YSEALI Seeds grantees.
Who can submit a proposal?
To submit a proposal you must be a registered YSEALI member, be from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, or Vietnam, be between the ages of 18 and 35 and have a project that addresses at least one of the following themes:
- Civic Engagement
- Economic Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship
- Environmental Issues
Can I submit more than one project proposal?
No, you may be listed only on one 2022 YSEALI Seeds for the Future proposal. Submitting multiple proposals with the same team-members could negatively impact your chances at being selected.
What makes a successful project proposal?
A successful project is one that is feasible, innovative, reproducible, and scalable making a tangible difference in any one of the four YSEALI themes. Make sure to tune in for one of the live webinars to learn more.
Is there a maximum or minimum number of people on a team for a proposal?
There is no maximum, however, there should be an appropriate number of people in relation to the size and scale of the project. Additionally, the strongest proposals will have different people in each of the three leadership roles of Project Leader, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Does my project need to affect more than one ASEAN country?
No. However, the strongest proposals will offer solutions that can be replicated in more than one country or region.
Does my project need to have members from more than one ASEAN country?
No. However, the strongest proposals will encourage cross-border collaboration.
Does my proposal need to be in English?
Yes, all proposals must be written in English. Proposals submitted in languages other than English will be disqualified.
Can my project receive funding outside of the 2022 YSEALI Seeds for the Future Grant program?
Yes, all projects will be encouraged to seek crowdfunding through Generosity.com or other platforms and to seek additional funds through the private sector to create as much impact as possible.
How do I come up with a budget?
Budgeting is one of the hardest and most critical parts of your proposal. You must list all appropriate and applicable costs while remaining cost-conscious and feasible. The most successful projects are realistic in their costs. Please use the budget template from the application to help you get started. Make sure to not include any sustained salaries or large equipment purchase in your budget as those are not within the scope of the YSEALI Seeds grant.
How will projects be evaluated?
Projects will be evaluated by Cultural Vistas staff in conjunction with U.S. Mission to ASEAN staff and sent off to a U.S. Department of State grants panel for final review and selection.
How will I know if my project was awarded funding?
The award announcement will occur in February-March 2022. You should plan on starting your project in March 2022 and finish it by December 2022. The winning teams will be notified first via email. Other applicants will also receive an email notification.
How will funding be dispersed?
If selected, you will receive 60% of your funds after submitting the answers to the follow-up questions based off your initial proposal requested by Cultural Vistas. You will then receive 35% of funds six months later, after submitting your monthly reports and your mid-term report. Finally you will receive the last 5% of the project funds after submitting your final report with project results.
What is Cultural Vistas' role?
Cultural Vistas will be your point of contact for the entire process and serve as your mentor to implementing your project. Any questions you may have on administration, budgeting, planning etc. Cultural Vistas will work with you. Additionally, Cultural Vistas will provide online mentorship to assist you in different aspects of your project from before, to during, to after the grant has completed.