This journey was not easy, but I emerged from the past, into a brighter future. Now I want to help others do the same.

Best Regards, Jennifer Sebasigari


Why we exist

Refugee services for those in need

Refugees or displaced people face many challenges, most are fleeing or have fled their home countries due to ethnic cleansing, political persecution, or natural disasters. They face even further challenges when trying to integrate into a new country, understand cultural nuances, navigate social-economic norms, earn a living, become self-reliable, and become positive contributors to the overall success of their adoptive country.

Safe Space

Offering refugees a safe space to connect with other refugees.

Job Placement

Helping refugees find employment opportunities through our extended network of community partners and corporate partnerships.

Financial Assistance

Providing refugees financial assistance to rebuild, and help increase their prospects for early employment. 


Mentoring refugees to help them become self-sufficient, and guide them through entrepreneurship.

Community Resources

Connecting refugees to local and national community resources, including legal, career and housing.

Who we are

Emergence, Resilience, Hope

The SEBAS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to help alleviate some of the challenges refugees/displaced people face during one of the most crucial times in their lives, by offering refugees a safe space to connect with other refugees, provide job placement, financial assistance, mentorships, and community resources. 

The SEBAS Foundation was founded in 2021 by Culinary Chef Jennifer Sebasigari, a Congolese refugee who's family survived and fled a war torn country. Her family knew they had a difficult journey ahead, and in hopes of rebuilding their lives they fled to a United Nations refugee camp in Cameroon. However through strength and resilience they emerged out of Africa and started a new life America. Knowing first hand what that journey meant for her and her family, she knew someday she would help others. 

"I want to be a beacon of hope to all, not just refugees but anybody going through hardship. I want people to know that you can emerge from what you are facing today, into a brighter future!"


Our Founder


Jennifer Sebasigari


Chef, entrepreneur and influencer, Jennifer Sebasigari is a media darling with a motivational mission. Drawing inspiration from a painful past as a war refugee, her mission is to help other refugees.

Her popularity on social media, has opened many doors- making appearances on local, national and international TV shows. She built her own multi-faceted food biz called Jenny On the Go 365, which touts catering, popups and private chef experiences. And now, she's parlaying her success into philanthropy, establishing the annual Emerge fundraising gala for refugees. She is also a coach and motivational speaker, with a goal to empower other women. "I'm a young woman today here in Houston, and I'm doing well for myself," she says. "How can I help another Jennifer? How can we create more Jennifer stories?"

This is all very different from how her life began, as a child escaping a civil war with little more than a backpack.

Before coming to American, she and her family faced a tough and tangled journey that involved moving from city to city throughout eastern and central Africa to avoid violence. "When the war happened, people traveled [to many different cities in the region]," Sebasigari says. "They were trying to run away."

Although she is of Congolese descent, she was born in the country of Burundi to a fashion-designer mother and a diplomat father who was stationed in the country by the Congolese government. After one of her dad's friends was murdered in front of him at the beginning of the the war, her father decided to relocate the family to Goma, in his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When the violence eventually spilled over into Goma, her dad, decided to move his family to the Congolese capital of Kinshasa. But in Kinshasa, the family quickly found that their safety was not guaranteed. "Kinshasa also became a dangerous place because the war was literally migrating everywhere," she remembers. 

When the United Nations decided to grant 1,500 visas to Congolese war victims so they could become refugees in the United States, her parents made the difficult decision to again uproot their family— this time for a refugee camp. "We left everything. We packed up two backpacks each and a couple of suitcases and we went straight to a refugee camp in Kinshasa."

She and her family were eventually relocated to a bigger camp in Cameroon, where they spent the next year and a half before they were approved for resettlement in Austin, TX in 2001, she was 12 years old. "I was so excited to come to America," she remembers. "I felt like I could just conquer everything. I was excited to be here, but it was also a humbling experience."

Although her parents had both established successful careers back home, they had to work entry-level jobs to make ends meet, her and her siblings — three sisters and a brother — also had to do their part to keep the family afloat. "We all worked," she recalls. "I was 13 years old cleaning offices as a housekeeper."

She eventually made her way to Houston after high school and worked as a bartender and waitress. After doing some research, she discovered Giada De Laurentiis on the internet, and she quickly decided on a new purpose for her life. At 25, she enrolled into culinary school so she could become just like De Laurentiis. "I had a goal that I wanted to be the Black Giada," she laughs. "I started to really feel like culinary school was my purpose from God."

After graduating from a two-year program at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin TX and an internship at Disney, she found her way into the kitchen of Oxheart, under the tutelage of James Beard Award winner Justin Yu. "I had no idea who Justin Yu was at the time," she laughs. "I was just excited that I got the job." She learned only later, after some googling, that she'd landed a job in one of the most celebrated restaurants in Houston.

"Even today, I still take that experience that I learned from Justin and apply it to so many of the things that I do today," she says. "I'm always so grateful for those experiences."

And now she's giving back with new mission and new purpose, as the Founder of the SEBAS Foundation. She hopes her tale will inspire other refugees to celebrate themselves, and to thrive. 

Jenny On The Go 365 founded in 2016 was her entry into culinary entrepreneurship. Her company provides catering services, cooking lessons, and engages in pop-up restaurants. She has worked with other chefs in charitable events benefiting various causes. She is renowned for her IGTV show “Behind the Kitchen” and appearances on local TV outlets.

Jennifer has amassed a huge following across social media platforms. As an influencer, her social media feeds @jennisebasigari and @jennyontehgo365 boast almost 400K followers who tune in for her expertise in cooking/nutrition, entrepreneurship, fashion, and other popular culture trends. 

Get In Touch

Contact Us

You are not alone on this journey, tell us what you need


Become an Event Sponsor

The 2nd Annual Emerge Refugee Benefit will be held on June 20, 2023. Our annual fundraising event can be a great way for you to give back, and showcase your company brand. 


Refugees, Hope, Rebirth, Refugee Services, Foundation, Emerge




The SEBAS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Gifts are deductible to the full extent allowable under IRS regulations. EIN 88-3058746

Contact Us

1515 Austin St

Houston, TX 77002

+1 832 844 0229