YSEALI Seeds for the Future

21 Projects, 1 Goal: Shape the Future of Communities across ASEAN.

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

Projects of the Month



In the coastal city of Kupang, Indonesia, many young people are losing touch with traditional wisdom about the environment. Schoove, or School of the Coastal Environment, created a curriculum designed to train local youth leaders in marine and fisheries issues. These participants will then use their newfound knowledge to teach elementary school students about environmental protection.

Lao Film Academy

Lao Film Academy

Of the 57 films made in Laos since 1947, the majority were produced by foreigners. Lao Film Academy wants to create the next generation of local filmmakers by training high school students in editing, directing, screenplay writing, and cinematography. The students will create six short documentaries based on environmental issues.

2018 Grant Recipients


Equipping youth with skills to compete in modern economy

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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

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Training small businesses on best practices in financial management

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Arts and storytelling program for female inmates

Black Art and Culture | Wanda's Picks | 11 May 2018


Creating a film industry in Laos by training local filmmakers

Thailand, Laos, Myanmar

Teaching indigenous youth natural resource management and sustainable practices

Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand

A kid-friendly household disaster preparedness toolkit

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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

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Online educational platform for high school students in Laos

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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

2017 Projects

From classes delivered via sailboat to the first bike scheme in Myanmar, all twenty projects were selected for YSEALI Seeds funding in 2017 were a success. Read more about them here.



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, 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 2018.

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.