Houda Farrahe - a most incredibly creative and innovative franchisee
Houda Farrahe is our Principal of Cassablanca and the Academy's franchisor for the whole of Morocco. She has been an incredible inspiration to many on the international network, translating the programme into French and also developing an extensive corporate development programme in drama which is being used in many multinational companies.
Houda has now 420 children in her Academy and this keeps growing exponentially thanks to her drive, determination and her great enthusiasm for the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy's holistic programme which really does develop children in many facets of their lives, including socially, emotionally, physically, expressively and creatively.
She is just an amazing person who shines happiness with everyone she meets. She is a brilliant trainer and mentor on our network.
Read her answers to our questions below:
What did you do before you became a Principal of the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy?
Engineering Studies-R&D Engineer in Automotive R&D Center-Department Manager in Aerospace company-Managing Director of Morocco Office of an international HR and recruitment company
How did you hear about the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy?
Internet Search about Drama Academies in the World
What made you decide to become a franchisee?
A conference call with inspiring Duncan Rice, the Director Helen O'Grady Drama Academy Africa.
What aspects of the Principal training were especially beneficial to you?
All aspects but Mostly Drama techniques and curriculum content.
What month and year did you start your first Academy?
What obstacles have you overcome to start a Helen O'Grady Drama Academy, if any?
All materials in English while we do French Drama in Morocco
Can you tell us what some of your achievements have been since starting as a Principal?
The development of the French Curriculum has been amazing for Morocco - now many more children around the world will have access to our drama programme.
We also set up a Permanent Studio where our full time staff are based and we more exciting programmes with the children.
Having experience in the corporate world, I realised there was a great need for a corporate programme using drama and this is now used in many multinational companies.
If you can give a new Principal some words of advice when they start out, what would you suggest?
Don't be afraid of experiencing new things - try then decide!
How many people on your staff?
4 full time, 1 part time, 6 hourly rate teachers
How many children attend each week?
What advice would you pass on to a new franchisee as regards to staff?
Sharing values is mandatory to the success of the team relationship.
We have an amazing and complementary team - two nice and cheerful women, Soukaina and Warda, taking care of administrative work. They are the contact with schools and incredible at hosting of parents and kids in our Academy. They are the angels of our permanent studio. We have also another staff member, Soukaina, she started with us, years ago, as a part time teacher when she was a student, and once graduated she joined the team as Business Development and Marketing. She is taking care of our communication but also helping in development of new franchisees. She is still a great teacher that the kids love to have and trainer of teachers - everyone loves her. We have another great teacher, working with us in the Academy, Zineb. Zineb takes care of all social and volunteering actions of the Academy, as we believe we have a responsibility in helping the community. Zineb is a generous person who fits in this noble role.
Nothing will be possible without our amazing lovely teachers, Fatimzahra, Kawtar, Kenza, Nawal, Sandrine, Sonia and of course Soukaina and Zineb. They all are our ambassadors in schools - they are representing our Academy in the best way and they are fulfilling a great mission of changing the lives of hundreds of kids.
Why do you believe drama is important for children?
The golden way and sometimes the unique way to get confidence, improve communication and increase creativity is Drama Classes starting from a young age.
Would you like to mention anything else about your time with the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy?
I enjoy being part of the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy. I feel that I belong to a family and I love all people I am working with - they are just amazing.
If you would like further information about the Academy for your child, or would like to become a teacher or franchisee contact us: