"Road to Mafraq identifies, empowers, and equips local grassroots organizations serving those affected by political and sectarian conflict in the Middle East. We believe the programs on the ground in the region are the experts in how to best serve those in need. They have the language and cultural knowledge that allows them to develop strong personal relationships with the people impacted by crisis.
Many of these programs could have a tremendous impact if only they had more financial and technical support to achieve their full potential. That’s why we walk alongside them to help strengthen their programs and expand their reach."
Ellen Small Billard, founder of Road to Mafraq, is a global development professional and Evansville native focused on the Middle East. In 2013, she founded Road to Mafraq, an organization working to increase access to education for Syrian and Iraqi refugees, with a focus on empowerment of grassroots, locally-run organizations in Jordan. In addition to her work with Road to Mafraq, she has consulted for NGOs throughout Southeast Asia serving under-resourced and disenfranchised communities, including orphans, refugees, and victims of human trafficking, and spent five years working to reform public benefits programs in the state of Connecticut. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut with a focus in Public Policy and International Social Work and a BA in English Literature from the University of Southern Indiana. She has lived, worked, and traveled in over 35 countries.