On the outskirts of the industrial city of Faisalabad in the Punjab province of Pakistan lies the village of Sultan Town. It was here that the vision of creating a brighter future would germinate. Ever since the establishment of the school in 1996, the focus has been on giving girls opportunities they would otherwise not get in the local community.
But the LAMS school must also be a safe place for children to play, learn and explore, and a lot of time and resources are spent on activities and events outside the classrooms that contribute to enriching the pupils' everyday life, creating security and strengthening self-confidence.
The LAMS school opened on 5 October 1996 as a free school for the children of the employees of the rye weaving mill Bokhari (Norpak International). The school is located wall-to-wall with the weaving mill and originally had 5 classrooms and one teacher's room/office for the principal.
Hear founder Yawar H. Bokhari tell about the school's start in his own words (from the Uplands Archive, department Maihaugen).
In the first years, the school offered primary education from 1st to 5th grade for around 150 girls and boys. In connection with the expansion of the school in 1998, a further 5 classrooms were built and LAMS expanded the teaching offer for girls up to the 10th grade.
In 2000, over 350 pupils (200 girls and 150 boys) attended the school.
In 2000, the LAMS Foundation was established in Norway to ensure overall strategic management of and support for the operation and further development of the school. The foundation, which is registered in the unit register, works closely with the school's administration and management in Pakistan. The creation of the Norwegian foundation also enabled a limited cooperation with the Norwegian authorities through the aid directorate NORAD. With funds from NORAD, the school was expanded in 2003 with a further 10 classrooms, and at the beginning of 2010, there were close to 500 pupils attending the school.
In 2013, the school library Laila Library was built with the aim of being a gathering place for debate, discussion and exhibitions, and a living library.
In 2015, the school was expanded with a separate wing for pre-school. Seven classrooms for the very youngest students (4-5 years). In 2023, the preschool was expanded with a new floor and given a new name: Alma, Selma & Nora wing. The pre-school also houses a nursery for employees' children.
LAMS currently offers preschool, primary and secondary education for girls and boys aged 4 to 17 years. Boys are offered schooling up to 5th grade, while girls are offered a total of 12 years of schooling. Nearly 700 students currently attend LAMS and between 20 and 30 girls graduate each year, all of whom are offered scholarships for further education.
This is only the beginning.