How it all started
Because refugees want to work, have a new home, and belong
Jin-Ju Jahns, a first-generation American, the daughter of a Korean immigrant mother and an American father, is familiar with the challenges and sometimes obstacles of integration. She first met refugees in Munich during the large wave of immigration 2014 to 2016. It was in Munich that she launched a gardening project where foreigners and locals would plant and harvest fruit and vegetables together.
With this experience, she founded Social Impact Recruiting (SIR), a not-for-profit organization. Jin-Ju is convinced that jobs are the key to successful integration: Empowerment by Employment.
It was at an event at InterNations (an international social network for Germans and ex-pats), where Jin-Ju presented SIR to the InterNations volunteer Group involved in charity work that she met Dinese Hannewald, likewise an American and an experienced consultant. Part of Dinese’s roots is from the Caribbean and she is also a first-generation American. Living in Germany since 1990, Dinese was looking for a way to support Germany with its integration efforts and to expand her philanthropic activities locally. She too wanted to improve the situation in Germany for these new arrivals.
These two women got on well from the start and quickly became acquainted. Dinese with her “Grace Impact gGmbH”, a not-for-profit social impact company, became Plant‑a-Talent’s first sponsor. At the same time, she supported Jin‑Ju’s organization by making a private donation and afterwards started working pro bono with SIR in the fields of management and finance. In March 2017, Dinese and Jin-Ju decided to join forces, buy the company from its original owner and re‑establish it as a new brand. Their goal: to prepare refugees for employment in Germany and to place them in jobs.
Plant-a-Talent has already found employment for over 100 refugees in Munich and its vicinity. To date, our company is exclusively financed through donations from its two owners with their private money and from its sponsors.
Plant-a-Talent is registered as a not-for-profit limited liability company. Almost all of our staff in our growing young team has an immigrant background. We speak the language of refugees and are excellent examples of how people can successfully integrate in Germany.
In late summer 2017, the two managing partners decided to look for a new name and brand that better represented their personal views and objectives.
In September 2017, the predecessor organization “Social Impact Recruiting” (SIR) was transformed into the progressive, personalized and growth-oriented Plant-a-Talent name and brand.