Biography of Albina DU BOISROUVRAY
Born on 02/07/1941 (format : day/month/year)Biography :
Countess Albina Du Boisrouvray (b. July 2, 1941), a prominent French Countess, former journalist, film producer , who has become a global philanthropist and social entrepreneur working with AIDS orphans. Shei s the driving force behind an international citizens' initiative to respond to the global AIDS pandemic, focusing on the plight of children.
Albina was born in Paris, the daughter of Count Guy du Boisrouvray and Luz Mila Patino, but her roots stretch across the Atlantic to Bolivia. Albina's grandfather Simon Patino worked as a miner in the
Altiplano tin mines, to become one of the wealthiest tin magnates in the world."
Despite her vast wealth and close familial relationships with some of Europe's most glamorous royal families (Count du Boisrouvray was a cousin of Prince Rainier of Monaco), Albina, as she prefers to be
known, became personally engaged with people at the margins of society--the sick, the dying, and now the youngest victims of the AIDS disaster. She has been an advocate of the inextricable relationship between health and human rights on an international scale.
As a young woman Albina married Swiss helicopter pilot Bruno Bagnoud. Their son François-Xavier followed the path of his aviator father, earning a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan College of Engineering. By age 24 François-Xavier had flown more than 300 rescue missions. In January 1986, however, during a support mission in the Mali desert, François-Xavier's helicopter crashed, and the "Little Prince of the Mountains," as he was dubbed, died from his injuries.
Devastated, Albina turned her grief into action and her fortune into funding. To honor her son's generous spirit and commitment to rescue, she sold the majority of her inheritance (the jewelry
auction was the largest in Sotheby's history), and founded The François-Xavier Bagnoud Foundation, and its non-governmental organization (NGO) arm, Association Fran?ois-Xavier Bagnoud, with
100 million dollars. Since then, Albina has been tenacious in her efforts to help the world's most destitute children, traveling the world to promote specific and effective initiatives.
In 1989,when Albina sold off three-quarters of the large fortune she had inherited from her father she launched AFXB with a global mission to assist Aids orphans and abandoned Aids/HIV children. "Everybody has a lobby, but not so the children," she says with feeling. She started out by establishing shelter homes for them.
By 2010, UN experts estimate that the number of orphans will reach 106 million, around 25 per cent of them AIDS orphans.
In 1990 Albina went to Africa. "There I sat in a village in Uganda, looking at the women, many of them widows of AIDS-afflicted husbands, and their children, stigmatised, poor." The women didn't beg for charity, they wanted money to buy cows, so that they could sell the milk, and seeds to grow vegetables to feed the orphans. "I knew about the micro-credit revolution in Bangladesh, and wanted to mould the idea to local needs. AIDS is a different story, as you know, and started by giving grants from the fund to the women..."
"Today these women are so self-assured that it's a pleasure to observe them.."I see health as a part of human rights, a part of child rights," "There’s so much to do. But as I look at the women and children on field trips I get the energy to go on." Albina says.
Albina du Boisrouvray is the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her work as an activist, philanthropist and social entrepreneur, including: Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight) by the French Government, the North-South Prize by the Council of Europe, the Life Time Achievement Award by the 4th International Conference on AIDS, as well as honors and degrees from Harvard University and University of Michigan. April 8th 2009, the French President, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy, presented Albina du Boisrouvray with the insignia of Officer in l'Ordre National du Mérite.
On June 11th 2009, Albina du Boisrouvray received the BNP Paribas Jury’s Special Prize. The prize was awarded in recognition of Albina’s 20 years of action on behalf of AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. The prize honors remarkable women and men for their ethics, their personal involvement and their exemplary actions, and awards 50,000 Euros
Last update : 10/13/2009