YSEALI Seeds for the Future

YSEALI Seeds for the Future

20 projects. 1 goal. To positively impact communities across Southeast Asia.


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, economic development, education, and environmental protection.


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. Additionally, one project that supports entrepreneurship across multiple nations is being supported by the US-ASEAN Business Council.




Grant Recipients

Malaysia

Arus Academy uses innovative, project-based curriculum to get unmotivated students from underprivileged communities in Malaysia back on the right track. With lesson plans ranging from building robots to coding video games, Arus’ 3 day a week Maker Academy offers a free afterschool program specifically targeted towards low income students. The program is unique because the curriculum was developed in-house using a combination of Maker, STEM, and Ted-Ed philosophies. “Our students learn through exploring real world problems and trying to make the solutions based on the knowledge they gather from the lessons.”

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Myanmar

In Myanmar, heavy traffic means that it can take hours to commute to school or work. That’s why Bikes in Yangon is working to make utility cycling an option for students at Yangon University. In order to accomplish this, they are utilizing advocacy campaigns to encourage Burmese students to take up cycling and government officials to consider it in city planning. In addition, they are currently using old bike parts to put together new bicycles to use in a bike sharing program on campus.

Bike Rental Service: Plans Underway For Yangon University Campus | Myanmar International TV | 11 May 2017

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Brunei / Malaysia

This project brings together youth from a portion of Borneo Island (which includes the countries of Brunei and Malaysia) together to critically assess the environmental issues plaguing their communities. Twenty youth from the ages of 17-25 will be selected for a camp, themed around “Protecting the Marine Ecosystem,” in which they will be trained by industry professionals in how to put their ideas into action. After the camp, the attendees will organize follow up projects with the help of micro-grants.

Borneo Eco Warrior Program | RTB News | 7 June 2017
YSEALI workshop tackles environmental issues, moulds youth leaders | Borneo Bulletin | 20 July 2017

Brunei / Indonesia / Singapore / Malaysia / Myanmar / Thailand / Vietnam

Selected as the project to receive funding by the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, Codeathon supports entrepreneurship across multiple ASEAN nations. The project is hosting weekend coding camps in 10 cities across ASEAN with the theme “Technopreneurship for Gender Equality.” Designed for both beginners and intermediate coders, attendees will create a app prototype over the course of the weekend. Afterwards, they’ll be paired with mentors from top tech companies to further develop their ideas. At the end of the weekend camps, judges will evaluate the entries to decide on winning projects.

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Thailand

Dress the Dream is using fashion to help women get out of poverty in Thailand. They are currently accepting clothing donations in locations throughout Bangkok with the help of celebrity influencers who have become advocates for their cause. By selling these clothes on a website/app they’ll create later in the year, Dress the Dream aims to raise $50,000 to support job training program to create job training programs for low income women. Additionally, they are using their dress-drive as a means to educate the public about the poverty issues that women in the garment industry face.

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Indonesia / Myanmar / Philippines

EcoFunGo is a series of educational events based around a game called Ecofunopoly. Created by Annisa Hasanah, the group leader of this project, the board game teaches youth about environmental issues such as carbon emissions. The program will take place in three ASEAN cities (Bogor, Manila, and Yangoon) and conclude with a festival involving activities like gardening, recycling waste, and a Ecofunopoly competition using a life-size edition of the game. The board game practices what it preaches—its made from recycled paper by jobless women in Indonesia.

Cintai Lingkungan Melalui Permainan | Metro TV News | 22 May 2017
Ecofunopoly: The Board Game for Teaching Waste Management | International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies | 26 February 2017

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Laos

In Laos, 50 percent of the population is under 25 years old. With that in mind, EcoLead seeks to empower young Laotians to organize for environmental sustainability. They have chosen and begun to train 22 EcoLead Agents from 5 different secondary schools in the Vientiane capital region. These agents, with the help of a mentor, will create team projects to implement in their schools. EcoLead believes these projects will encourage the schools to invest further in environmental initiatives.

Cambodia

In Cambodia, many eco-businesses are created by foreigners, but this project seeks to increase local interest in eco-entrepreneurship. To accomplish this, they have recruited 28 young “Ecopreneurs” who are being trained in professional development, entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation. Using their new skillset, this group of youths will participate in an art incubator and nature retreats all leading up to a lobbying campaign to encourage local businesses to adopt green practices. In their own words, “We hope we can learn from the foreigners and their businesses to build a bridge between us both, while also contributing to their cause as we know the Cambodian people well.”

កមយវជនផចផមធជនញបតងដមជយបរន | VAYO FM | 19 March 2017
Is that bamboo in my drink? | Deutsche Welle | 13 July 2017

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Philippines

Ecomentary is a week-long documentary filmmaking workshop that will take place this summer in the Philippines. Participants from across ASEAN will create a short (1-3) minute trailer of their proposed documentary subject during the camp. Afterwards, they’ll compete for a grant to produce an 8-15-minute short documentary film. The group has recruited filmmaking industry professionals to both teach at the camp and judge the attendees’ trailers.

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Vietnam

Eduplant 3 is the third iteration of an afterschool program put on by Green Fingers Vietnam. In order to curtail the high rate of unrecycled waste in Vietnam (90 percent goes to landfills), the program is leading educational workshops as well as local awareness campaigns. The workshops are geared towards school-age children and teach them about recycling through crafting and interactive games. These workshops will be compiled into an online video series to expand the reach of EduPlant3’s program. Additionally, the project will lead monthly “Recycling Journey” events in community parks.

Indonesia

In the islands of Pangkep, Indonesia, many children don’t have access to education past primary school. That’s because as there are no advanced schools in the area, parents would have to send their children to the mainland, and many don’t have the resources to do this. To reach children on the island, the Floating School brings education to them—via a semi traditional boat. The program offers nine different course options: drawing, crafting, reading, computer, digital design, singing, photography, and videography. Through the help of the teachers who also sail to the islands, students will be encouraged to find and pursue their passions.

Tim Makassar Terpilih YSEALI Seeds for The Future di Bangkok | Tribun Timur | 20 January 2017
Mengintip Keceriaan Anak Pulau Mengikuti Sekolah Apung | Rakyatku News | 19 March 2017

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Philippines

Food SECURE (Sustainable Efforts for Communities that Uplift Rural Entrepreneurship) is working to alleviate hunger in rural communities in North Cotabato, Philippines. Though this area is considered the “bread basket of the Philippines,” poverty-related issues means farmers are often unable to feed their families. In order to give local families the tools they need to succeed, Food SECURE will teach community members about using agripreneurship and home gardening through weekend camps for 5 months. This will help increase food security in the region.

What If Our Farmers Give Up On Us? | Rappler | 9 July 2017

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Indonesia

Combining early education and urban farming, Future Green Thumb Leader is working to instill sustainable practices in youth in Indonesia. The extracurricular program uses a learning-by-doing approach to teach children in 3 different schools how to nurture a plant from seed to harvest. To start out and pique interest, the students were taught how to make (and taste!) their own salads. Going forward, the children will learn how to grow the food, including the salad materials they used before.

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Cambodia / Vietnam

The topic of menstruation can be taboo in parts of Southeast Asia, whilst disposable feminine hygiene products can create waste and damage the environment. Green Lady Cloth Pads is hoping to tackle both issues by introducing reusable pads accompanied by educational programs into communities in Cambodia and Vietnam. Their green business model is initially using pads from EcoFemme, a company in India. However, they plan to connect with local manufactures to produce their own products and employ women in their communities.

Laos

Many children in Laos who have disabilities or speak ethnic minority languages do not have access to the same quality education as their mainstream peers. This is in part because teachers lack the skills to educate children with these challenges. Let’s Include All seeks to solve this educational gap by training 100 student teachers in inclusive education. At the end of their series of workshops and networking, these educators will go on to positions in remote Northern Laos, where they will be able to implement what they’ve learned about inclusive education.

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Malaysia

Founded by former participants in Teach for Mayalsia, MYReaders is a literacy program bringing youth from illiteracy to literacy in 27 weeks. Illiteracy in Malaysia is a huge problem, with 44 percent of Malaysian students not meeting minimum proficiency levels in reading. MYReaders has so far brought its program to 20 schools and seen 2.8 years of reading growth from students who complete their program. In addition to working with high need students, MYReaders trains and supports teachers and volunteers who work in their afterschool program.

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Vietnam

Pro Bono work is relatively uncommon for lawyers in Vietnam, but there are many disadvantaged groups who could benefit from quality legal assistance. To fill this gap, Viet Youth Pro Bono is preparing 30 law students to take on volunteer legal cases. They are doing this through a training program that teaches important concepts of political philosophy, core competencies in delivering legal assistance, and professional ethics and conducts. They will also be partnered with mentors in the legal field to assist on Pro Bono cases.

Philippines / Thailand
The founders of the XX+XY project saw a need for more dialogue in their communities about the issue of gender equality. In their own words, “gender inequality is a perennial problem of the ASEAN community due to the patriarchal values entrenched within its cultures.” They want to change this through leadership camps that empower youth to turn ideas into action. Starting this summer, the project will bring together youth from ages 18-24 from Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. After the week-long camp, the leaders will propose and execute solutions to address gender inequality in their communities.

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Cambodia / Laos / Myanmar / Thailand / Vietnam

Youth Farm Network, or Y-Farm, is the maiden collaboration between 5 main youth groups in the Mekong Region (encompassing Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam). As the area becomes increasing interconnected, Y-Farm seeks to bring together young farmers to learn, practice, share, and work collaboratively. As part of the project, 200 youth in the region will trained in organic farming and 10 will be able to go on an exchange to a teaching farm in another Mekong Region country. Y-farm will also support 2 households in each country to pilot small scale organic farms.

Mekong Organic Farming Initiative Receives US Grant | Viet Nam News | 25 February 2017

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Indonesia / Philippines / Thailand

The founders of YPCA realized that natural disasters and conflict are inextricably tied together, and youth should be prepared to tackle these future challenges. Their accelerator program, which will take place this August, will give young leaders from Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia the tools they need to become peace advocates in their communities. Program fellows will be trained through lectures, workshops, mentorship sessions, and community visits. Afterwards, they will be expected to carry out projects in their communities through microgrant funding provided by the program.

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About YSEALI

What

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.


Why

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.


Who

The YSEALI community consists of bright young leaders, 18–35 years old, from Brunei,Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, 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 2017.







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.