Born Survivors – Kizzy: Sex, Prams And Exams

by Lisa McGarry

Born Survivors returns to BBC Three with a new series of hard-hitting and inspiring TV documentaries in which young people forced to live with serious issues reveal their strategies for survival. The documentaries, which tackle the subjects of young motherhood, eating disorders and under-age drinking, tell the extraordinary stories of young people surviving whatever life throws at them and gives them a unique opportunity to talk candidly about their experiences and determination to change their lives.

The documentaries are accompanied by online minisodes – two to four-minute self-contained videos, and nine short films made by young people across the country in collaboration with the Media Trust, whose themes range from homelessness and growing up in care, to cancer and gang life. Both minisodes and short films can be found at bbc.co.uk/bornsurvivors.

Kizzy became pregnant when she was just 13, and gave birth to Kaylib in May 2007. Her pregnancy, birth and the first few months of motherhood were captured in a touching and unique film originally broadcast on BBC Three in December 2007. The birth itself, in May, was the best moment of her life, she says.

In the summer of 2008, the cameras returned to catch up with the young mum. Kizzy: Sex, Prams And Exams follows Kizzy’s journey from young teenager to full-blown mother and shows her attempts to take her own first steps towards independence.

Kizzy has now hit her stride and is a lot more confident with Kaylib than when he was first born. This confidence is due in part to the help and support she’s received from her family, and particularly from Michael, her boyfriend.

Not only is Kizzy turning 16, but she is also waiting for her GCSE results, the outcome of which will determine whether she can carry on with her further education – most girls who have a baby never return to full-time mainstream schooling.

Kizzy has also been thinking about getting her own place with boyfriend Michael and becoming more independent, but her parents don’t think she is ready to leave the family home. This leads to a heated discussion on the eve of her birthday.

Juggling motherhood, college and work is tough for this 16-year-old, but not impossible. And along the way she manages to find a place for Kaylib at the local nursery, and have him baptised. But then Kizzy is not your average teenager, and she’s working hard to throw off any negative labels attached to her because she had Kaylib so young.

10.30-11.30pm BBC THREE
Monday 12 January

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