PROFAMIL was founded in 1984. But it was Edith Lataillade who—while working with a doctor in the early 1970s—developed educational materials (including films and pamphlets) for Haitian communities, beginning a family planning effort that now serves as the backbone of PROFAMIL’s efforts.
One of Lataillade’s most successful efforts was the creation of a weekly radio show in the 1980s—women across Haiti would gather every Sunday night to listen to “FANMI” (family, in Creole). FANMI was a huge success, sharing information on family planning, sexual health, and access to condoms and other birth control methods. During the 1990s, although remaining critically important to the people, the program lost funding. Lataillade and PROFAMIL shifted their focus to direct support and began providing sexual and reproductive health information in their affiliated and mobile clinics. Lataillade’s advocacy efforts remained essential during the 1990s, when open discussion of sexual and reproductive rights of women remained largely taboo in Haiti.
Due to Haiti’s suffering from a litany of natural disasters— earthquakes in 2010 and 2021, as well as Hurricanes Jeanne in 2004, Sandy in 2012, Matthew in 2016, to mention only the worst in the last twenty years—PROFAMIL developed a rapid response strategy to address communities severely affected by these emergencies. Following natural disasters, women and girls displaced or living in tent cities have been particularly vulnerable to sexual assault and violence. In these situations, PROFAMIL provides immediate medical care, birth control, critical health checks, and general support to people who may have lost everything.
Lataillade remains an ardent supporter of PROFAMIL, advocating for sexual and reproductive healthcare at every opportunity.