That incident set Miss Nasir out to fulfill her mission. She was determined to provide a home for destitute girls so that they could earn an honorable living. She was personally on the streets looking for such girls, and searching for them in hovels and caves that were part of the landscape where penniless families took refuge. At the beginning it was a struggle with the girls and the whole family, but gradually the parents started seeking the help of Miss Nasir, when they realized what kind of care she was giving to their daughters. With the generous support of the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, who had provided her with the first seed money for the project, and the help of many other friends, she was able to launch a program in house-keeping, hygiene, literacy, embroidery, and religious education by using part of her own house for that project. She started with 25 girls and named the home Rawdat El-Zuhur, which literally means Garden of Flowers.
This is exactly what Elizabeth Nasir wanted the home to be. A garden of happy girls looking like flowers and radiating with joy, and love. Music and dancing were the first activities she exposed the girls to, for she strongly believed in the magic of music and its power to lift the spirits of those girls and to help replace the tears of destitution with a happy smile. The first piece of equipment she purchased for the home was a manual record player and she became the talk of the town as she skipped and danced with the bare-footed girls all over the courtyard. In 1955, Elizabeth Nasir was awarded a special certificate from the National Recreation Association of the USA for "Enriching the Human Spirit through Recreation." While Miss Nasir gets credit for playing a very important role in putting an end to the phenomenon of begging at that time, she continued to provide those special programs for the lower income community.
In 1967 the organization had to address an urgent need for Palestinian schools following the occupation of Jerusalem. So it developed its work to focus on formal elementary education for girls and boys with a kindergarten section. It continues to cater for children from low-income families, with a stress on quality education which includes extra curricular activities, like drama, music, art, and Palestinian folk dancing.
A Haven for Palestinian Children