YSEALI Seeds for the Future

Are you passionate about the future of ASEAN?
The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative’s (YSEALI) Seeds for the Future Grants Competition can help turn your ideas into action.

Cultural Vistas and the U.S. Mission to ASEAN are proud to announce that the YSEALI Seeds for the Future program is now accepting applications for its 2019 grant competition.

YSEALI Seeds for the Future is a small grants competition for young leaders 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.

The YSEALI Seeds for the Future program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Mission to ASEAN.


To submit a proposal you must be a registered YSEALI member, a citizen of one of the eleven YSEALI member countries, be between the ages of 18 and 35 and have a project that addresses at least one of the following themes:
  • Civic Engagement
  • Education
  • Economic Growth
  • Sustainable Development
U.S. Citizens are not eligible to apply.
No, however the strongest proposals will offer solutions that can be replicated in more than one region.
No, however the strongest proposals will encourage cross border collaboration.
Yes, not only will this make your proposal stronger but will designate specific tasks.
Yes, each team must have at least three members (a Project Leader, a Secretary, and a Treasurer). There is no maximum number, however, you should only submit resumes for the project leaders. If you have more team members, submit an additional document listing them.
A successful project proposal is one that is feasible, reproducible, and scalable making a tangible difference in a local community and impacting at least one of the four YSEALI themes.
While there are different ways to prepare a successful application, here's some suggestions on an effective process to create your proposal.
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. Budgets can be submitted in either USD or local currency.
Determinations and grant distribution will occur in January 2019, thus, your project should plan to be eight months starting in late February 2019. Projects must be completed by October 2019.
If selected, you will receive 60 percent of your funds after the kick off workshop in late January. You will then receive 35% of funds 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.
In January 2019, two members from each team will be required to attend a kick off workshop in Jakarta to learn valuable skills, improve their project plans, and meet fellow grant recipients.
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 on. Additionally, Cultural Vistas will host online mentorship videos to assist you in different aspects of your project from before, to during, to after the grant has completed.
Projects will be evaluated by Cultural Vistas staff in conjunction with U.S. Mission to ASEAN staff and U.S. Department of State.
No, you may be listed only on one 2019 YSEALI Seeds for the Future proposal.
Yes, all projects will be encouraged to seek crowdfunding and additional funds through the private sector to create as much impact as possible.
Projects can apply for up to $15,000 USD.

Learn About 2018 Grant Recipients

Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand

A kid-friendly household disaster preparedness toolkit

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Workshop to create and implement solutions for special education in Brunei

Tarian bantu individu kurang upaya intelek | Media Permata | 7 May 2018


Developing internet skills and etiquette among youth in Myanmar

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Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia

Bootcamps designed to create a more sustainable, just fashion industry

Read More


Training small businesses on best practices in financial management

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Creating a film industry in Laos by training local filmmakers

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Thailand, Laos, Myanmar

Teaching indigenous youth natural resource management and sustainable practices


Card game that teaches about the coral reef ecosystem


Outdoor activities for children with autism and their families

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Marine and fisheries educational program in Kupang, Indonesia

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Accelerator program for women-owned micro businesses

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Singapore, Myanmar

Educational program for underprivileged youth in Myanmar, led by Singapore

Read More


Online educational platform for high school students in Laos

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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.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact us at yseali@culturalvistas.org.

About 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.