Weary of singles dances, cruises and conferences, Tyler DeLange, a 35-year-old emergency room physician from Washington, D.C., decided last year to organize an international humanitarian aid trip. Together with a network of like-minded friends, DeLange formed a non-profit organization called Singular Humanitarian Experience.
“There are always social activities,” DeLange said. “Without a wife and kids to care for, opportunities for service — that’s what we singles are lacking.”
The group’s inaugural trip to Guatemala was highly successfully, producing a new two-room secondary school for a needy community in Guatemala. The project also produced two happily-engaged couples and several cases of malaria and dengue fever.
This year, the organization is undertaking additional projects not only in Guatemala, but also in Bolivia and Nepal. Young LDS singles from around the world have flooded the organization with applications for the nine-day expeditions. Applications have also been accepted from members of other faith groups.
At one project location last July, participants dug the foundation for a rural area’s first hospital, taught villagers the basics of midwifery, dentistry and emergency medicine, and conducted workshops for school teachers.
Expeditioners describe the experience with tears in their eyes.
Learn more about this marvelously innovative “singles” program by viewing the video below, which was filmed on-site at a 2010 project in Central America, or read about it in this article in the Mormon Times.
Find out more about the Singular Humanitarian Experience at their website, http://www.singularhumanitarian.org, where you can also view a large gallery of photographs taken at one of their project sites.