51% Show #1272

Nov 29, 2013

A Syrian refugee who fled the violence in Syria holds a box of food released by the Lebanese community for help at a temporary home in a school at Wadi Khaled area in northern Lebanon
Credit Freedom House

It's being called the worst humanitarian crisis of our generation. Why aren't we talking about it more? This week on 51%, why aid organizations need you to help. Plus the modern reality of what happens when science creates families.

The civil war in Syria is in its third year – and experts say it is one of the worst humanitarian crises of our generation. International attention focused on the conflict when poison gas was used in an attack on Damascus in August. But news reports indicate that a brutal campaign of so-called cleansing continues around the country, with witnesses saying the government basically dumped huge containers of shrapnel, including dumpsters, and bombs on buildings in an air attack on September 3rd to clear a town of what the government said were terrorists. The strategy destroyed the town of Ariha, and forced everyone in it, civilian and rebels, to abandon it forever.  

Credit UK Department for International Development

According to Save the Children, two million people have fled the country – but four million children are still there, hungry, in need of medicine and without a safe home. One in three of those children have been the target of violence. 75% of them have lost a loved one. Seven thousand children are dead. And Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles said a priority is finding a way to get aid to those who need it. Studies indicate that seventy percent of health aid workers are unable to get to where they're needed.

Carolyn Miles is President & Chief Executive Officer for Save the Children. In 2012, Save the Children helped more than 125 million children in the United States and in 120 countries around the world. Find out more at savethechildren.org.

Coming up, some frank talk about the reality of a family created by science – and a movement to get rid of diapers for good. 

Credit Solis Invicti

Our definition of family has certainly widened over the past couple of generations. With MTV about to air the program Generation Cryo, about a girl searching for the sperm donor who is her father, and 2010's film The Kids Are Alright, about the children of a lesbian couple who want to know their mothers' sperm donor, that definition is expanding yet again.  Cindi Swingen of Portland Oregon chose to create her own family – her two children have the same father – a man none of them knows. Producer Julie Sabatier bring us this interview.

Credit Audrey

And finally, let's talk about babies, and diapers. Our grandmothers wrapped our parents in cloth nappies when they were babies. Our mothers raised us during the transition from diaper services to disposables. But as we become aware of the environmental nightmare those nearly indestructible disposables are, today's parents are looking for alternatives. What if you and your baby just didn't use any?

Lisa Goldberg and Rebecca Steinfeld of Homefront Chronicles speak to a mom who's not buying the diaper story.

That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance.  Our theme  music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.  Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.