A Day of Fun at the Fantasy Kingdom for Bangladeshi Street Kids

Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Am I Wearing? - a book about the countries, factories and people that make our clothes and a similarly named blog, was in Dhaka, Bangladesh, when he discovered a local amusement park named Fantasy Kingdom.

There Kelsey got a crazy idea: get as many kids, many of whom live just outside of the park but couldn't afford the ticket price, into the Fantasy Kingdom for a day of fun!

Sixty Dollars admits one child for one day to Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Sixty dollars admits 20 people for one day to Fantasy Kingdom, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.

I discovered this not long ago when I was in Dhaka. Now all we have to do is find those 20 Bangladeshi children to take to Fantasy Kingdom, I thought.

Behind us were the gates of Fantasy Kingdom, the brightest, cleanest, and most out-of-place sight in all of Bangladesh. The walls are plastic but look like sandstone. Standing atop them are two very happy cartoon kids – sentinels looking out to the crowded streets and the surrounding garment factories.

"One girl and one boy would be best," Ruma said. She is a 20-something Bangladeshi sportswriter who had taken the day off to help me with my crazy idea: Take as many kids as we can – who live in the park's shadow but haven't been inside – into the amusement park. Riding a roller coaster is a luxury they'll probably never know otherwise and, as a lifetime roller-coaster enthusiast, something I hoped to change.

"I want 20," I replied.

Ruma approached three boys. As she talked, they stared at me before running off to find more kids. It wasn't long before we had a crowd.

Read more of Kelsey's fascinating account of the day trip at The Christian Science Monitor: Was it a frivolous gift or a lifelong memory?

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That was certainly beautiful! I'm sure the kids will remember that day for a long time. It is unfortunate that in many parts of the world, children have forgotten what it is to be children.
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Gail Pink.
That wasn't a hateful comment; it was cynical.

I don't hate the guy. Simply broadcasting what he did makes me wonder what his motives were. That's cynical. Or maybe I'm jealous because nobody ever took me to Fantasy Kingdom.
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