OXFORD’S Nepalese community has issued a simple message six months after an earthquake devastated their homeland – don’t forget our country.

More than 9,000 people were killed, 23,000 injured and vast swathes of the population left homeless after a 7.5-magnitude tremor struck Nepal, triggering an avalanche on Mount Everest.

About 500 members of the Nepalese community in Oxford rallied around to support their countrymen in the Himalayas, and are now in the process of helping rebuild a school.

But according to co-ordinator Tulasi Paudel, of Littlemore, there is still more work to be done.

He said: “We have a Justgiving page and people were still donating about two months ago. There’s no money going in at the moment.

“Maybe people are not seeing anything on the news or TV. Maybe they are forgetting. But we request – don’t forget.”

A fundraising committee, Nepalese Community Oxford (NCO) UK, was quickly formed not long after the disaster and has so far collected £26,863.

Collections were held in the streets of Oxford city centre, at local branches of Tesco, at Nepalese restaurants around Oxfordshire and local pubs.

Committee member Chitra Thapa, a security officer at the BMW plant, recently raised £400 through the Oxford Half Marathon. On Tuesday, a cheque for £300 arrived from the Jolly Postboys Pub in Florence Park Road.

The money will help to renovate classrooms at the partly-destroyed Kalidevi Lower Secondary School in the mountainous Dhading district, near the earthquake’s epicentre.

Mr Paudel, a former Gurkha, said: “I have visited myself. The children are studying in temporary shelters.

“It’s in a mountain village and one or two students have lost family. We are committed to complete five rooms.

“We would love to finish the whole school and complete nine rooms, but we need more support.

“We are trying to establish a long-term connection with the school.

“If anyone goes there they will know it was done by the Nepalese Community of Oxford. To have five rooms will be lovely and more than 200 students will be smiling.”

The first foundation stone was laid on the site on Tuesday, October 6, by Mr Paudel.

It will cost about £37,000 to repair all nine teaching rooms at the school.

According to the Disaster Emergency Committee, people in Oxford have so far donated £1.15m towards aid in Nepal.

Spokesman Brendan Paddy said: “It’s an incredible figure. For a city of its size, Oxford has been really generous.”