Star­bucks brings movie nar­ra­tions to the blind

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By SONG MENGXING song­mengx­ing@ chi­

The voice of Zheng Tao is fa­mil­iar to his vis­ually im­paired friends be­cause the dis­trict man­ager at Star­bucks Bei­jing has nar­rated films for them for six years.

Zheng and his col­leagues usu­ally visit the Bei­jing Hong­dan­dan Ed­u­ca­tion and Cul­ture Ex­change Cen­ter on the third Saturday of ev­ery month to share movie sto­ries with peo­ple with visual dif­fi­cul­ties. Zheng said he “guides their eyes” and helps them “see the color­ful world in films”.

The first film he nar­rated at the cen­ter was The Miss­ing Gun, di­rected by Lu Chuan. Zheng said he watched the film 10 times in one month and pre­pared a well-or­ga­nized nar­ra­tion to help his lis­ten­ers bet­ter un­der­stand the movie.

“Some of the movies were quite se­ri­ous and my blind friends felt up­set af­ter hear­ing them,” Zheng­said. “Itwas nec­es­sary to help them un­der­stand the sto­ries pos­i­tively.”

He said ini­tially he was ner­vous to do the vol­un­teer­ing job but now is much more con­fi­dent as he has spent much time learn­ing and prac­tic­ing his nar­ra­tion skills. Zheng has shared more than 40 films with his lis­ten­ers since 2010.

He was hon­ored as one of China’s top 50 innovators for his con­tri­bu­tion to the film nar­ra­tion pro­ject by Chi­nese busi­ness news magazine CBN Weekly in Septem­ber. The magazine chooses the top 50 innovators an­nu­ally from seven fields in­clud­ing mar­ket­ing, tech­nol­ogy and cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“I al­ways wanted to do some­thing to help make the world a bet­ter place for dis­abled peo­ple,” said Zheng. “I’d like to share this honor with my Star­bucks part­ners across China, many of whom are do­ing much more than I do in terms of giv­ing back to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.”

Star­bucks started sup­port­ing the film nar­ra­tion pro­ject more than nine years ago. A lis­tener sur­named Xiao said it was very com­fort­able to lis­ten to the nar­ra­tion while drink­ing cof­fee brought by Star­bucks vol­un­teers, and their ser­vice was ex­cel­lent.

The com­pany also de­cided in 2011 to make ev­ery April its ser­vice month. This year’s theme of the Star­bucks global ser­vice month was sup­port­ing young peo­ple.

Star­bucks baris­tas vis­ited the Bei­jing cam­pus of BN Vo­ca­tional School on April 25 and shared with more than 100 young peo­ple, in­clud­ing knowl­edge of cof­fee cul­ture, main­te­nance of cof­fee ma­chines and job seek­ing skills.

Cui Fuqiu, vice-pres­i­dent of Star­buck­sChina, said: “We be­lieve that by con­tribut­ing to com­mu­ni­ties we can help young peo­ple ob­tain bet­ter em­ploy­ment and vo­ca­tional skills, im­prove their liv­ing and learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments, and re­al­ize their dreams.”

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