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To work with youth I had to stop being a Youth Worker | Debbie Munroe | TEDxManukau

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Published on Nov 29, 2015

Debbie Monroe doesn’t like bureaucracy either. When she hands out free soup to Manurewa youth, she doesn’t ask them for any details. Spurred into action after reading Facebook comments about the young people in the area that included “run them down,” Debbie started a Soup Walk, delivering soup to drunken, stoned and bored teenagers in Manurewa’s Southmall. “I made pumpkin soup with real cream and bacon because I am not going to feed these kids crap.”

Debbie Munroe is a 51 year old Maori woman who has lived in Manurewa for over 30 years. She is a proud mother of five children and four whangai children and delights in her 12 mokopuna. A teacher of 20 years in South Auckland schools, Debbie gave up teaching and became a voluntary youth worker.

Throughout her adult life, Debbie has supported over 80 young people, providing them with a room in her own home, attending court and/or family group conferences with them or visiting them in prison. Debbie does this because she believes she cares deeply about her community.

In 2014, Debbie discovered some comments on Facebook about the youth of Manurewa causing havoc in Southmall Shopping Centre. Unimpressed by the negative feedback from the community about their youth, Debbie decided to do something about this. Discovering the harsh reality of poverty in her community, Debbie started up a soup walk through Southmall and Clendon.
Debbie and her team hand out free kai to the young people

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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