A new charity has been launched in Wales to encourage the integration and acceptance of people from diverse cultures, religious and ethnic backgrounds in local communities.
KIRAN – the Knowledge-based Intercommunity Relationship and Awareness Network – was officially launched on Wednesday 2 May 2018 at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay, hosted by Mark Isherwood AM.
Also speaking at the event were the charity’s founder, Tamasree Mukhopadhyay; Jenny Rathbone AM; the Honorary Consulate of India in Cardiff, Shri Raj Kumar Aggarwal; and Paul Norton, Principal at Kings Monkton School.
The charity’s mission is to “encourage community engagement, integration and acceptance between people of different cultures, religious and ethnic backgrounds”.
It will run workshops in schools and community groups, aiming to help advance people’s understanding of traditions that differ from their own. Kings Monkton School in Cardiff is one of the charity’s main supporters and will work to introduce KIRAN to other schools in the area.
Ms Mukhopadhyay, whose son studies at Kings Monkton, has been involved in charitable work since the age of 14, when she volunteered with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. She moved to Cardiff in 2001, and won an award for self-development at the Welsh Asian Women Achievement awards in 2015. For the past five years, Ms Mukhopadhyay has been working to support a charitable project in Kolkata, created to help destitute women in the community learn trade skills, such as making paper bags by hand, sewing and stitching. When the project finished last year, Ms Mukhopadhyay felt moved to apply her skills in south Wales and influence positive change in her community.
Ms Mukhopadhyay said: “Wales has been my home now for almost 20 years, and while it has progressed in terms of integration and the acceptance of other cultures in communities, it is clear that prejudice is still an issue. Through education, helping the different cultures in our communities learn about each other, KIRAN can help influence positive change that will spread far and wide.”