Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a big role to play at EQHO and so we jumped at the chance to get involved with the Read for the Blind initiative. Here, we chat to Cillia Bettus, business development manager for APAC, South Asia and Russia at EQHO, to find out about the scheme.
Can you tell me a bit more about the Read for the Blind project?
We are going to record audio books for the Thai Blind People Foundation as part of Read for the Blind. Anyone can participate and record information from their own computer, but as we have a professional studio in our own offices in Bangkok, we thought it would be a good initiative to get involved in and provide really high quality recordings. We got in contact with the foundation to find out what books they would like and we are now going to record the books. We have focused on books that are on education, or health and safety, as we wanted to choose books that would fulfill an educational purpose.
How did the project come about?
We were thinking about projects we could do that involved using the studio. We were informally involved three years ago, but it was much more of a one-off project. We just used voice artists that regularly worked for us, rather than inviting all staff members to take part. This time we want everyone to participate. It also means project managers on the production staff get a chance to be the voice artist in the studio, so it's an opportunity for them to experience something new as well.
When do you expect the project to be of benefit the public?
It is ongoing project, but it will take time to record entire books. We need to divide the work amongst the volunteers for the project, but we will deliver the files as soon as they are ready. We don't want to rush the project and deliver average quality though, as we have professional facilities so we want to make the most of them.
What difference do you think EQHO can make to the project?
The ability to provide a professional environment is obviously a big bonus in terms of quality. We have already provided samples to prove that our quality is amazing and very clear. We have a particular strength in voiceover recording as it is what we do every day, so we can make adjustments or retakes very easily. Whereas if you're recording from home the output will not be the same.
How important is CSR to EQHO?
We are increasingly conscious of it. We try to participate in anything that can help with Thai culture and society, and the upcoming ASEAN community. If people get interested in different languages and cultures it's good for everyone involved in our industry and for Thailand to be an important player in this development.
Have you any other CSR projects in the pipeline?
We have been involved in another project for a few years in partnership with Chulalongkorn University. Basically, we go to the university every week and teach classes on localization as part of a course on translation. They need professional input and we are really happy to participate. By going to the university we want to explain to students that there is more opportunities around languages than simply being a translator. It's a win-win, as we help students and the university, and in the long run we hope it will help us as well.