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

EBZEF Video II - Bringing Light and Literacy to Lumwana West.

More EBZEF videos >
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About the Elizabeth Bowers
Zambia Education Fund

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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 where Beth served. 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 current ”Textbooks for the Library” project will make 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.

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.

So little money goes so far:

  • $45 books
  • $70 uniforms
  • $300 funds pre-school books and supplies
  • $445 sponsors a student in grade 10
  • $375 sponsors a student in grade 11
  • $415 sponsors a student in grade 12
  • $2,500 funds a year of college study
  • Any amount funds books for the library
  • $245 funds a year's newspaper subscription
  • $1,700,000 funds a secondary school

(2014 costs include tuition, school fees, books and supplies, and uniforms, plus a small stipend for secondary school girls. High school and college are boarding schools. Grade 12 also receives tutoring and exam fees)

Take Action Now - Contribute Online

Perfect Partnerships for Education

The Elizabeth Bowers Zambia Education Fund contracts with the Lunga Area Development Program of World Vision Zambia to manage and distribute funds locally in the Northwest province. World Vision is committed to the well-being of children worldwide.

A Peace Corps Partnership Program has helped EBZEF build the Library/Learning Center in Lumwana West for Beth’s Girls and the community. Peace Corps promotes world peace and friendship through global understanding and support for developing countries.

Books For Africa has helped EBZEF send 22,000 lbs. of books for the new Memorial Library. The goal of BFA is to end the book famine in Africa.

EBZEF has partnered with the Mid-Columbia chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) for development projects in Lumwana West. EWB is building a science lab for a new secondary school as well as working with water projects in the village.

Contact Us

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