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Elizabeth Rachel Bowers

(April 5, 1979-March 6, 2002)

Beth was a child of light, an adventurer of the spirit, and a seeker after world peace and understanding. Her death as the result of a bicycle accident in Zambia during her tenure as a Peace Corps volunteer marked the culmination of a vision of service and global awareness.

A Brief Accomplished Life

In her short life, Beth had many accomplishments:

  • Graduation valedictorian at Sprague High School, Salem, OR
  • Black belt in Shito-Ryu karate
  • Accomplished fly-fisherwoman
  • Shakespearean scholar
  • B.A. in Japanese Studies from Earlham College, Indiana
  • Junior year at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Phi Beta Kappa

The Peace Corps was the perfect way for Beth to fulfill her commitment to "give back" to others less fortunate. Her assignment to the fish-farming program in remote Zambia was a perfect fit. The donation of her organs and tissues to 22 South Africans was the ultimate "giving back" of her full, rich life to those in desperate need.

EBZEF Videos

Library Dedication in Zambia, Africa from Bob Parker on Vimeo.

EBZEF - Bringing Light and Literacy to Lumwana West from "Beth's Girls" on Vimeo.

More EBZEF videos >

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Elizabeth Bowers Zambia Education Fund (EBZEF)

EBZEF is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization. 


For our latest accomplishments, see our Annual Report or THE PROTEA, our May 2019 Newsletter.

Annual Report

Read the latest EBZEF Annual Report

To honor Beth, to continue her work, and to sustain her vision of global peace and understanding, a memorial fund was created by her family and friends to educate the girls from a remote rural village in NW Zambia, where Beth served in the Peace Corps. Today, going to school is the best chance Zambian women have to take control of their lives. An educated population is essential if Zambia is to combat HIV/AIDS, gender inequality, and the overwhelming problems of poverty.

Scholarship Fund

In memory of Elizabeth Bowers, and with Peace Corps’ help, a scholarship fund was established for the education of Zambian women in Lumwana West in the NW Province, where Beth served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Today, with World Vision Zambia acting as agent for the Elizabeth Bowers Zambia Education Fund (EBZEF), the scholarship funds girls from Lumwana West in grades 10 through 12 and beyond for an education they would otherwise not receive.

Memorial Library

To increase literacy in Lumwana West, EBZEF worked with the Peace Corps Partnership Program to build a library/learning center next to the Lumwana West Basic School as a gift to the community from Beth. With the help of partners Books for Africa, the Caritas Foundation, World Vision US, and World Vision Zambia, EBZEF sent 22,000 volumes of books to stock the Memorial Library. The ”Light and Literacy for Lumwana West” program supplied solar power for lights, computers, and communication in the Memorial Library. The ”Textbooks for the Library” project is making literacy and learning available outside the classroom to Beth’s Girls and to the entire community.

Secondary School 

The success and momentum of Beth’s memorial scholarship program clearly indicate that we must continue her efforts in Zambia. EBZEF is working to help Lumwana West build its own secondary school for the education of all children in the community.

Stay updated with our newsletters:

EBZEF Newsletter May 2019 The Protea    Lumwana West Education Project 2019

Click HERE to go to our Secondary School Page and learn more!

The community of Lumwana West in the Northwestern province of Zambia needs a high school! Please click HERE to view our concept paper, which provides information about the Lumwana West community, and why construction of a high school there is so important to its children and future. The children’s improved health and livelihood is contingent on their education opportunity.  

Help Contribute to Beth’s Vision

The Elizabeth Bowers Zambia Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization. Every dollar of your support, 100% of your tax deductible donation, will go directly to Beth’s Girls and their community because EBZEF’s Founding Supporters pay for our overhead.


Contact Us

To contribute to the Elizabeth Bowers Zambia Education Fund, click here. To contact us, click here.