Netra Venkatesh, a teenager in the UAE set up a global organisation to provide free webinar-based education to young women across 20 developing countries. Her efforts have been recognised by George W Bush’s Points of Light Foundation by adding her to this year’s Inspiration Honor Roll.
During the height of the pandemic in 2020, when educational institutions were impacted by the lockdown, Netra, based in Dubai decided to take it on herself to be a spark for positive change in the field of education for young women across the developing world. She launched an all-girls nonprofit organisation called SpunkGo – Social Media for Good (www.SpunkGo.com) which offers free educational webinars from professional speakers to young women typically in remote and rural settings.
The purpose of this non-traditional education protocol is to encourage young women to empower themselves and inspire them to grow professionally and personally. Fast-forwarding to 2022, SpunkGo has grown leaps and is now present in over 20 countries across Africa and Asia, from Bangladesh to Ghana, and is run collectively by 30 young women who call themselves SpunkGo Ambassadors.
With a membership of over 5,000 young women worldwide, SpunkGo has tied up with KeyNote Women Speakers who assist Netra with high-impact speakers. Netra has also partnered with the Simbi Foundation, where SpunkGo members record books for displaced children in Uganda to listen to. SpunkGo also supports an orphanage in the Dandora region of Kenya.
Netra has been recognised by George W Bush’s Points of Light Foundation by adding her to the 2022 Inspiration Honour Roll. She is also the winner of the prestigious Diana Award 2022, awarded to commemorate the birthday of Diana, Princess of Wales.