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.

Project of the Month

Financial Literacy of Micro and Small Businesses

Financial Literacy of Micro and Small Businesses

Small businesses in Cambodia frequently have a difficult time expanding due to their lack of financial and tax management knowledge. This is in part because of the absence of digestible information on these issues available in Khmer. Financial Literacy of Micro and Small Businesses is using YSEALI Seeds funding to lead financial coaching in the Siem Riep and Battambang provinces. Their workshops will bring expert speakers to teach budget management, taxes, and how to use business accounting systems. Financial Literacy of Micro and Small Businesses believes their trainings will lead to increased economic development in Cambodia.

2018 Grant Recipients


Equipping youth with skills to compete in modern economy


Developing internet skills and etiquette among youth in Myanmar

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Indonesia, Vietnam

Exchange program among Vietnamese and Indonesian coffee farmers

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Philippines, Thailand

Bootcamps designed to create a more sustainable, just fashion industry


Training small businesses on best practices in financial management


Arts and storytelling program for female inmates


Educational program for disabled children to learn about sexual abuse prevention


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


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


Accelerator program for women-owned micro businesses

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Mentorship program for disadvantaged young women

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Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines

Creating networks of female leaders to affect community changes

Singapore, Myanmar

Educational program for underprivileged youth in Myanmar, led by Singapore


Online educational platform for high school students in Laos

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Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines

Turning wasted coffee peels into alternative energy source

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Afterschool arts, music, and crafts program for suburban children

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Workshop to create and implement solutions for special education in Brunei

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.