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Photos: Karin Hendricks - Petunia’s librarian (top & bottom right) - Scottsville, Kraaifontein - Loyal friend of Petuna’s library, Anne Sofie Saebo (top center), a driving force behind fundraising for the library in her community in Stavanger in Norway for many years, Foundation Phase teachers helping to cover books (bottom left).

The story of the Petunia Primary Library

Petunia Primary is located in Scottsville, a suburb of Kraaifontein outside Cape Town. In this community, children experience the effects of poverty: drug abuse, gang violence and a lack of educational opportunities. For most children, the nearest public library is not within safe walking distance.


In February 2011, we opened the doors to the library at Petunia Primary. Friends and acquaintances donated time and energy to the project. With book donations from Biblionef, Vriende van Afrikaans, Cecile Cilliers, Mary-Anne Hoogenhout and Louise Viljoen, the library was soon turned into a vibrant book haven.  Warmhearted local resident, Karin Hendricks, was appointed as our librarian. 


Upon entering the library one experiences a welcoming spirit. This is due in no small part to the role of the young volunteers from the school. Year after year these twelve and thirteen year-olds help Karin with anything from cleaning and administrative tasks, to assisting younger children to choose age appropriate books to read.  In this way the young people are becoming agents of literacy development in the community.


Today, two thirds of the school’s more than 800 learners are active members of the library.  According to the staff at the school, literacy levels have improved dramatically.  


The library depends for its existence on the the support of the Friends of Petunia’s Library. All funding and donations received go directly into either Karin’s small salary, books or projects to benefit children.

How you can help us:



Make Petunia Primary in Scottsville the beneficiary of a Woolworths  My School Card.  The address of the school is: Petunia Street, 7570 Scottsville, Kraaifontein. Tel: 021 988 4914. The principal is Mr Yon.



Afrikaans and English book donations. We are always in need of quality books for all age groups.

Donations of hand puppets, board games, puzzles and magazines are also welcomed.


Please let us know what skills and talents you can contribute. We are always looking for people to assist with administrative tasks and bookbinding, or to take a story-time hour in the library for children of different ages. We invite you to help to join us in developing stories of hope and possibility for the children of Petunia Primary.

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