AUSTRALIAN couple Ivan and Val Parker have had a six-year relationship with the people of Teci Village in the Yasawa group.
The couple, who were special guests on the final day of Bouwaqa Day celebrations in Lautoka yesterday, are a true testament to love that knows no boundaries.
Ivan Parker, 70, recalls his first visit to the village in 2006 when he first developed the need to provide assistance to the village.
"We were at Nacula Village with a group called Variety and there we met with one of the villagers," he said.
"After working with the group, we were invited by the villager to visit Teci in 2006.
"When we arrived we saw that it was very isolated from all of the other villages. We noticed that it had no nearby resorts or hotels that could generally provide some kind of income for the villagers."
Mrs Parker said it was then they decided to help the village with their own money.
"We decided to fund the education of the pastor's children," she said.
"We paid for their school fees and after a while, we managed to upgrade their home, build toilets at the village with proper amenities.
"We also donated books and computers to the local school and we also helped in the upgrading of the kindergarten.
"Education is very important to us and we want to see the kids from Teci go on to make a life for themselves and so our priority will be on the schools and the children's education."
The Queensland couple said their love for the village had allowed them to continue to provide assistance to the villagers when they needed it.
"We have been very involved with Teci Village and we would like to see it prosper as it should like any other village that has been generally helped by nearby resorts and hotels."
"Twenty-five houses have full power and the school is much better than what it used to be.
"I hope that with this help, there will be a better and new life for the next generation and I hope that we've succeeded in doing that."