Small Grants Program

The YPL Small Grants Program is a competition for eligible YPL alumni to apply for seed grant funding to implement innovative projects in the Pacific region related to the four core pillars of the YPL Program: Education, Environment and Resource Management, Civic Leadership, Economic and Social Development. Once selected for the program, alumni will learn about grant management and carry out small grant projects that focus on addressing issues or opportunities in their communities, countries, or the region.

All interested YPL alumni are welcome to join Cultural Vistas for a three-part webinar series that will provide an overview of eligibility requirements and support applicants in preparing a small grant application. Webinars will be held over the following dates and times:



Cultural Vistas will host three mentorship webinars to assist interested applicants in completing their application. These webinars will help applicants articulate their project ideas; assigned team roles and organizational structure; guidance on budget creation and management; and additional support as needed prior to the application deadline. The recorded webinars can be found here after the live version occurs.


Who can submit a proposal?

To submit a proposal, the team must meet the following requirements:

  1. At least one team member must be a former YPL Conference Attendee.* This includes:
    • 2020 Conference: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
    • 2019 Conference: Suva, Fiji
    • 2018 Conference: Honolulu, Hawaii
    • 2016 Conference: Honolulu, Hawaii
    • 2015 Conference: Independent State of Samoa
    • 2014 Conference: Auckland, New Zealand
    • 2013 Conference: American Samoa

    *Previous YPL Small Grant Program core team members: Project Leaders, Project Treasurers, and Project Secretaries, are ineligible to re-apply.

  2. All core team members must be between the ages of 20-35 and possess citizenship from a YPL member country.
  3. U.S. Citizens must demonstrate that their project is regionally focused outside of the United States, or be part of a cross-country team.
  4. Project must address one (or more) of the following themes:
    • Education
    • Environment and Resource Management
    • Civic Leadership
    • Economic and Social Development

Previous YPL Small Grant Program core team members: Project Leaders, Project Treasurers, and Project Secretaries, are ineligible to re-apply.

Does our team need to list a Project Leader, a Treasurer, and a Secretary at time of application?

Yes, it is required that each team have a Project Leader, Treasurer, and Secretary. These members will be deemed the “Core Team Members”. Not only will this make the proposal stronger but will also designate specific tasks within the project proposal and if selected, the project management.

Is there a maximum or minimum number of people on a team for a proposal?

Each team must have at least three core members (a Project Leader, a Treasurer, and a Secretary). There is no maximum number, however, teams should only submit resumes for the three core team members. If a team has more than three team members, they may submit an additional document listing them.

How many projects will be selected?

15 Projects will be selected for the program.

How Will Funding Be Dispersed?

If selected, teams will receive 60% of project funds after the program Kickoff Workshop. They will then receive 35% of project funds after submitting the required monthly reports and mid-term report. Finally, teams will receive the last 5% of project funds after the team submits the required final report with project results and the Project Leader attends the Debriefing Seminar.

How do I come up with a budget?

Budgeting is one of the hardest and most critical parts of a proposal. Teams must list all appropriate and applicable projected expenses while remaining cost-conscious and feasible. The most successful projects are realistic in their costs. Budgets can be submitted in either USD or local currency, this must be indicated on the budget form. This budget template will be the main budget template for the small grant projects, please refer to our template below to include as the budget template in the project proposal submission.

How Will Projects Be Evaluated?

Projects will be evaluated by Cultural Vistas staff in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State.

When Will I Know If My Project Was Awarded Funding?

Determinations of grant funding will be made in July 2021.

What is the Kickoff Workshop?

Prior to the start of the project implementation phase, all three core-members from each team (Project Leader, Treasurer, and Secretary) will be required to attend a virtual Kickoff Workshop via Zoom to learn valuable skills, improve their project plans, and meet fellow grant recipients.

What is the Debriefing Workshop?

In the final month of the YPL Small Grant program, all three core team members will be required to attend the Debriefing Seminar to deliver a presentation on the team’s project outcomes, successes and challenges, and opportunities for the project’s sustainability or replicability.

What is Cultural Vistas' Role?

Cultural Vistas will be the point of contact for the entire process and serve as a mentor while teams are implementing their projects. Any questions teams may have on administration, budgeting, planning etc. Cultural Vistas will work with them on answering and further assisting them in navigating challenges. Cultural Vistas will also act as the “Grantor” for the program and will monitor the selected projects outcomes and participation in the program.

Learn About Previous Grant Recipients

'Pasin PNG' Our Culture. Our Pride.

Papua New Guinea

A series of cultural preservation workshops in villages of Morobe Province to demonstrate to local children and teenagers the traditional crafts and practices of the region. Each cultural element will be recorded on video and uploaded to an online digital library so the culture remains accessible for future generations.

Read More

Dren in Mour (Water is Life)

Marshall Islands

A project to provide all households in the outer island region of the country with household water filter systems to reduce waterborne illnesses and ensure resilience to climate variability in a remote area of the country.

Read More

E Tipu E Rea Mō Ngā Rā O Tou Ao

New Zealand

A leadership workshop in Auckland for Māori and Pacific secondary students from the East Coast of New Zealand focused on inspiring leaders of tomorrow and highlighting pathways for success through education.

Read More


American Samoa and Samoa

A youth awareness program highlighting the impact of pollution in American Samoa, Samoa and the surrounding ocean, and ways the two countries can collaborate and promote eco-friendly practices to address environmental issues.

Read More

Girls CAN Camp

The Federated States of Micronesia

The Girls CAN (Climate Action Network) Camp will empower the next generation of FSM women leaders combating climate change by bringing together high school girls from Chuuk for a week long leadership camp highlighting new techniques for women practitioners in the fields of conservation, marine science and climate adaptation.

Read More

Challenging the Conventional: Pasifika Leading

New Zealand

Storytelling workshops capturing the views and stories of Pacific youth to help create more public awareness of diverse perspectives in leadership, policy, workplace environments to challenge traditional frameworks.

Read More



Connecting urban youths back to their communities through local workshops focused on traditional culture, highlighting where they come from, and building connections for continued engagement between urban and rural young persons.

Read More


French Polynesia and Fiji

Implementing solutions for local management of washed-up plastic waste on three Pacific islands, and promoting public awareness of alternative solutions for reusing plastic materials for community development.

Read More

Inspire and Connect

New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, and Cook Islands

The project aims to showcase inspirational stories of Māori and Pasifika people through informational videos on pathways to success and in-person career events highlighting opportunities available for professional advancement.

Read More

Rima'i for a Sustainable Living

French Polynesia

A rural development program to raise awareness among people in French Polynesia about using handicrafts as a medium for social and economic growth to build a sustained economic models and learn digital skills for advancement.

Read More

“Talita o le lumana'i” (Protector of the future)

Samoa and American Samoa

An indigenous-focused leadership and environmental education program onboard the Va’a Gaualofa, in partnership with The Samoan Voyaging Society, to empower emerging young Samoan leaders and foster environmental stewardship in their communities and the region.

Read More

Youth LIFT

New Zealand

Youth LIFT (Leading Inclusive Futures Together) is a youth mentorship program for Māori and Pasifika Year 12 students in Auckland designed to promote active and inclusive citizenship through exploring local and global social issues while developing a sense of strong community leadership.

Read More

Aorangi Web-series: Documenting Traditional Knowledge through Digital Media

Cook Islands

A web series showcasing Cook Islands Māori traditional knowledge in order to help preserve indigenous culture, customs, and language. The project is helping to ensure that Cook Islands Māori heritage survives and is able to be enjoyed by future generations, providing them with a strong sense of identity to become better leaders for the future.

Read More

Community Building and Engagement for Deaf Persons in Fiji and Papua New Guinea

Fiji and Papua New Guinea

A data collection project in order to campaign the Government of Fiji for the rights and equal treatment of Deaf people across the nation and an establishment of a legal status of Fijian Sign Language. Accompanying efforts of the project are using data collection from Papua New Guinea in order to continue work on establishing the PNG Deaf Association This project is part an of ‘Inter-regional cooperation and development’ initiative.

Read More

Early Literacy-Let's Read Vanuatu


Focused on the promotion and improvement of early literacy, the development of intellectual skills and the increased reading ability for children aged 0-3, this project aims to create a stepping stone in the educational journey of youth and their development into well-equipped future leaders.

Read More

Kaitiaki Generation

New Zealand and United States (Affiliated Pacific)

An intergenerational indigenous science and engineering movement, focused on connecting Māori and Kanaka ʻŌiwi communities through an international exchange of traditional knowledge and methodology.

Read More

Language Roots the Tree of Culture


Addressing the need to preserve the Niuean culture, the project provides a cultural bridge between youth in Niue and Niuean youth living abroad in order to help them reclaim their cultural identity using creative approaches and technology.

Read More

Le VĀ Talanoa


An educational discovery of how the history and thinking behind Samoan and Pan Pacific architecture can be utilized when looking for sustainable development solutions, in particular, the critical issues of climate change and the bridging of the gap in the transfer of generational knowledge.

Read More

Malasitabu Project


Through the encouragement of a healthy and self-sustaining lifestyle and the incorporation of environment and resource management into school syllabi, the Malasitabu Project focuses on providing children in a school community, a well-rounded learning environment and further social and economic development.

Read More

Project Sechelik Palau


Across Palau a plethora of English children’s books can be found, but colorful and catchy Palauan children’s books do not exist. In order to promote literacy and the indigenous language in the nation, this project will be publishing and distributing the first original children’s book written in Palauan.

Read More

Removal of Sargassum Seaweed


In partnership with local government, researchers, youth and the community at large, this project aims to make a positive environmental, social and economic impact for the local reefs through the improvement of the future of inshore coral reef health by the manual removal of an overgrown invasive type of seaweed.

Read More

Sustainable Livelihood Project


Focused on reviving traditional approaches to farming in order to promote sustainable development, this project will connect local community members to training and different models for improving and further increasing the community’s sustainability.

Read More

Training in Jolly Phonics, Math Games and Students’ Behavior Management

Papua New Guinea

Teachers play an instrumental role in the development of children from an early age, this project aims to improve the literacy rate and introduce students to more in-depth captivating curriculum through the advanced training of teachers in phonics, math, and child development, hoping to encourage an inclusive educational environment and to inspire the next group of future leaders.

Read More

Youth-4-Change Mentoring Program: Kaweid, Kahluwa, Kamarain

The Federated States of Micronesia

This project sets to address societal issues affecting youth in the Federated States of Micronesia by implementing capacity building activities in line with education and civic leadership through a mentorship program model.

Read More

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Cultural Vistas has administered the YPL Small Grants program since its inception in 2018. For questions about the YPL Small Grants Program, please email