WEST Dorset residents are appealing for support in setting up a library for the children of Nepal, whose homes were devastated by the 2015 earthquake.

David and Francoise Berthet-Hall will be visiting the Rasuwa district of the country as part of Books4Nepal, a project founded in 2018 by Andrea and Mario Marini, from Mortimer, after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed the region.

There are more than 17,000 children aged 5-15 living in the Rasuwa district, which is located just south of Langtang National Park and north of Kathmandu. Of the 62 schools in the area, only five have been rebuilt since the natural disaster.

Books4Nepal is working to build a library in the village of Jibajibe, which will serve as a central library for all surrounding schools to use. There is currently no library or resources centre in the whole of the Rasuwa region.

The initial objectives of the project are to provide the local community with access to education and knowledge, to improve attendance at school, and to provide a multimedia space that can be used for adult training.

In future, the project hopes to equip the library with audio books and other tools for people with different learning abilities, provide internet connection for online courses, and to offer technical training in professions such as plumbing, building, and health care.

The development of the library will be managed by Andrea and Mario alongside local entrepreneur Hari Krishna Devkota, founder and president of the High Himalayan Community Projects Nepal (HHCP). HHCP aims to empower the marginalised communities of Rasuwa and improve the quality of life through advancing education, health and sanitation.

The funds required by Books4Nepal to complete the library are estimated to be $25,000 (approximately £18,000). Once the centre is up and running, support from the Nepalese government will be requested to pay a permanent librarian.

The 2015 earthquake was the worst to hit Nepal since 1934. It claimed nearly 9,000 lives and caused immense destruction to one of the world's poorest countries, where 25% of the population survive on less than $1 per day. The country remains in a state of recovery.

A JustGiving page has already raised more than half of the funds needed to support the development of the library. For more information or to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/books4nepal2018.