U.S. Mission to ASEAN Gathers Community Improvement Project Grant Recipients

Washington D.C. (March 24, 2021) – The U.S. Department of State-sponsored Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) provides funding for up to $15,000 as part of an annual program called Seeds for the Future. The U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations administers a grant that provides the cash awards for solution-based projects centered around themes of civic engagement, economic empowerment and social entrepreneurship, education and environmental issues.

In March 2021, this year’s cohort, which has representatives from all YSEALI member countries (Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam) met for a “Virtual Kickoff.”

This year’s grant recipients include:

Accessed Educators (Cambodia)
Increasing teacher resiliency in Southeast Asia through technology-enhanced, student-centered teaching approaches

ActivateGov (Philippines)
Activating Local Youth Development Council in the Philippines through civic education

Bebas Sampah ID (Indonesia)
Building a youth-led participatory waste management platform in Indonesia

Dayadik (Indonesia)
Empowering Indonesian teachers to create a psychologically safe learning environment

#DisasterBusters (Philippines)
Empowering young environmental champions of resilience in the Philippines through capacity development

#Femnimitr (Thailand)
Bridging the gender data gap in Thailand through storytelling

Hub R Sar (Laos)
Empowering Laotian youth leaders through intensive bootcamps to facilitate positive change in their provinces

InPsychOut (Vietnam)
Building a Vietnamese society where mental health is valued

Kilang ReRoot (Brunei)
Raising awareness on food consumption and tackling food waste in Brunei Darussalam through workshops and food upcycling projects

LEAPS (Singapore)
Imparting business skills to ASEAN youths through remote tertiary student consulting programs

PantiCT (Indonesia)
Developing information and communication technology skills in young orphanage residents in Indonesia through tech-based training and certification

Pongo Academy (Indonesia)
Providing local, Bornean women with the skillset to become ambassadors for preserving their native lands

Project Kayamanan (Philippines)
Creating fun, online, peer-to-peer financial education programs for public high schools

Project TURO (Philippines)
Cultivating entrepreneurship to strengthen the economic resilience of rural, Filipino youth during COVID-19

SMAYL (Seeds for Mindanao’s Advocacy on Youth Leadership)
(Philippines)
Helping young peacebuilders in the Mindanao region create sustainable change

Purrfect Writers Club (Myanmar)
Fostering creativity and expression of underprivileged Myanmar youths to advance their academic and career opportunities

Real Money Real Youth (Myanmar)
Helping youth in Myanmar gain essential financial skills needed to build better futures by creating a powerful financial education platform

Right Thing to SEA (Indonesia)
Raising awareness of ecosystem services for local youths through marine resource management in Karas, Indonesia

Sokola Tengger (Indonesia)
Bringing literacy and advocacy for social and ecological justice to the indigenous community in the Tengger National Park area

Technify (Malaysia)
Connecting tech talent with change-makers to bridge the digital divide in Southeast Asia

The Green Dots (Vietnam)
Bringing practical greeneries to urban settings through a pilot community garden and participatory activities

Trail X: #LifeGoals (Timor-Leste)
Empowering youth towards environmental stewardship through football and experiential learning in Timor-Leste and the Philippines

Watkathon (Myanmar)
Mainstreaming youth participation in the Myanmar water sector through water hackathon competitions and online awareness campaigns

WEGO (Malaysia)
Creating agency among Malaysian senior citizens by implementing mobile literacy classes that empower their use of technology and encourage them to be independent

Youth in Action for Youth Budget (Vietnam)
Increasing Vietnamese youth engagement in national budget development efforts through the art of communication

Yowana Subak (Indonesia)
Creating cultural pride amongst Balinese youth through ancestral land cultivation methods and farming practices

U.S. Mission to ASEAN Chargé d’Affaires Melissa A. Brown began the kickoff with opening remarks, followed by one-minute overviews of each finalist’s project’s pitch. Through a series of dynamic sessions and interactive trainings that included talks about project management from Indonesian YSEALI Seeds alumna, Irma Sitompul, and modules on project monitoring and evaluation from Australian Young Pacific Leaders Grant recipient Michael Dyer, program participants had the opportunity to ask questions and engage with one another. The workshop also featured YSEALI alumnus and National Geographic Explorer, Gab Mejia, who shared digital storytelling tips and tools, which he developed during his inspiring journeys through Southeast Asia.

The YSEALI community consists of bright young leaders, 18 to 35 years old, from Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, 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.

For more information regarding implementing partner Cultural Vistas, visit www.culturalvistas.org.