On December 3, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) celebrated its 3rd anniversary by organizing a series of simultaneous community projects throughout Southeast Asia. The event – YOUnified 2016 – included 13 projects to promote environmental sustainability, civic participation, economic empowerment, and accessibility to education in 11 states and 2 federal territories across Malaysia. As a part of YOUnified Malaysia, youth leaders organized mangrove tree plantings in Sabah, an entrepreneurship conference Kedah, shark awareness outreach in Sarawak, forest conservation in Johor, and encouraging girls in STEM careers in Kuala Lumpur.
The central YOUnified event took place at Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur and featured Chargé d’Affaires Edgard Kagan and the Dean of Taylor’s American Degree Transfer Program, Associate Professor Dr. Anindita Dasgupta. Local NGOs participated in the event with the goal of recruiting over 100 youth to pledge their time to volunteer for a better Malaysia. Notable YSEALI-alumni driven NGOs represented at the central event were Project Liber8, Project WHEE, Arus Academy, and EduNation. The YOUnified event also included performances by local entertainers such as the spoken-word poet Melizarani and the singer Takahara Suiko. Nearly 150 young leaders attended the YOUnified central event and pledged to volunteer their time with the participating NGOs.