On the evening of January 14th, 1986, the helicopter piloted by François-Xavier Bagnoud crashed in Mali during the Paris-Dakar Rally. In addition to François-Xavier, four other people lost their lives: Thierry Sabine, the creator of the Dakar, the French famous singer Daniel Balavoine, a reporter from the Journal du Dimanche, Nathaly Odent, and a Radio-Luxembourg technician, Jean-Paul Le Fur. More than 30 years after this tragic accident, the Association which bears the name of François-Xavier Bagnoud, FXB, commemorates the departure of the “Little Prince of the mountains”.
Son of the pilot Bruno Bagnoud and of Albina du Boisrouvray, François-Xavier shared his life between Switzerland, France and the United States. “The Little Prince of the mountains” as he was named in his native Swiss canton, the Valais, left us at the age of 24.
In 1989, his parents, family and friends founded FXB in order to pursue, in the field of development, François-Xavier’s passion for saving lives in all its forms. FXB is now an international non-profit non-governmental organization which positively impacts hundreds of thousands of lives annually through its community development (FXBVillage), health, education and protection programs. Its mission is to provide people living in extreme poverty with the tools and support they need to become self-sufficient. Over the years, more than 17 million adults and children have benefited from FXB’s presence in 20 countries.
“No one knows how François-Xavier would have lived his life, yet he would be happy and proud of what has been accomplished to perpetuate the values of generosity and compassion that guided his life” said his mother, Albina du Boisrouvray.
Video (in French): François-Xavier’s parents come back on this tragic destiny. Christine Eggs, Director of FXB International was interviewed by Canal 9 on January 2016.