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I was born as Wendy Van Zyl. I married my childhood sweetheart in 1990 and my name became Wendy Deacon. My first husband was killed tragically in an industrial accident at Denel Aircraft in 1994. I was re-married in November 1996 and became Wendy Wiemers.

I worked as a bookkeeper for Russel Aizen from 1993 until 1996, after which I stopped working to settle into my role as a Methodist Minister's wife and to complete my BCom degree studies through Unisa. Unfortunately, Russel Aizen emigrated to Australia and I have did not have a reference letter from him.

We moved form Johannesburg to Cape Town at the end of 2000. I founded and volunteered for Sikhula Sonke from 2001 until 2005, and was appointed Executive Director at the beginning of 2005. I have served in this position until August 2010.

Work experience

May 2001Aug 2010

Executive Director

Sikhula Sonke Early Childhood Development

The specific responsibilities of my position as Executive Director were as follows:

Program Development and Administration:

  1. In conjunction with the Board of Directors and staff, assure that Sikhula Sonke has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.
  2. Provide leadership in developing program, organizational, and financial plans with the Board and staff, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
  3. Maintain official records and documents; ensure compliance with state regulations.
  4. Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field.

Budget and Finance:

  1. Work with the Financial Manager to develop and maintain sound financial practices.
  2. Work with the Financial Manager and the Board to prepare a budget; ensure that Sikhula Sonke operates within budget guidelines.
  3. Ensure that adequate funds are available to permit Sikhula Sonke to carry out its programs.
  4. Jointly with the Chairman and Secretary of the Board, conduct Sikhula Sonke’s official correspondence end jointly with designated officers, execute legal documents on behalf of Sikhula Sonke.

Communications & Marketing:

  1. Ensure that the Board is kept fully informed on the condition of Sikhula Sonke and all important factors influencing it.
  2. Ensure that the organisation and its mission, programs, products and services are consistently presented in strong, positive image to relevant stakeholders, specifically the Department of Social Development, the Western Cape Education Department, City of Cape Town officials, other ECD organisations and the general public.
  3. Establish sound, collaborative relationships with community groups and other organizations.
  4. Write the quarterly newsletter Simply Sikhula Sonke and keep the website and blog up dated with relevant and informative articles.

Staff and Volunteers – Recruitment, Retention, Training, & Evaluation:

  1. Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers.
  2. Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.
  3. Encourage staff and volunteer development and education, and assist program staff and volunteers in relating their specialized work to the total mission of Sikhula Sonke.
  4. Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff (including volunteer staff) of top quality people.


  1. Oversee fundraising planning and implementation, including identifying resource requirements, researching funding sources, establishing strategies to approach funders, submitting proposals and administrating fundraising records and documentation.

Other Skills required of this position are:

  • Demonstrated ability in written and oral communications and interpersonal skills.
  • Proven ability to develop and execute a strategic plan.
  •  Strong negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Computer skills (M.S. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Pastel, internet, etc.).
  • Understanding and basic knowledge of early childhood development.

I am:

  • A leader who can articulate a vision and motivate people to act with a shared vision.
  • An individual whose style is at once decisive and direct as well as collegial and approachable.
  • A person who is accessible, supportive, and flexible.
  • An executive with a “hands on” approach to work and a passion for results.
  • A good listener who inspires confidence and trust and is open to ideas of others.
  • An excellent manager who respects and supports the capabilities and independence of staff and volunteer leadership.
  • A person with integrity, a good sense of humor, and a high level of energy.
Jul 1991Apr 1993


Cullinan Holdings

I was responsible for 3 Cashbooks, inter-company debtors, petty cash, statutory returns and general ledger reconciliations. I resigned after coming back from maternity leave, as I wanted to look for a half day position.

Aug 1990Jun 1991

Financial Administrator

The Osprey Gold Mine Ltd

I started out as a Senior Accounts Clerk, and was trained and mentored into the position of Financial Administrator. I was responsible for the preparation of financial statements, salaries for 20 staff, wages for 300 staff, all reconciliations. Unfortunately the Gold Mine was not doing very well and I was retrenched once again.

Jan 1990Jul 1990

Accounts Clerk

Moolman Brothers Construction

I started this job after my first 2 years of study at Wits. I left Wits to study part time through Unisa so that I could get married. I was appointed to do cashbook, petty cash and general ledger reconciliations, as well as daily banking and general administrative duties. I was retrenched a week before my wedding.



University of South Africa

I started studying at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1988. After 2 years, I transferred to UNISA and finished my degree at the end of 2001, in between having 2 children. I majored in Accounting and Business Economics.

Certificate in Non Profit Management

University of Stellenbosch Business School

This certificate programme focuses on social development and education in South Africa by enhancing managerial effectiveness, service delivery and good governance in the NPO sector. It also deals with the competency to attract, secure and retain funding.

"Crucial management skills for NPO managers"

The 5-day course covers the following areas:

  • Environmental Scanning: Overview of the economy in SA with specific emphasis on the environment in which NPOs function
  • Leadership and Team Dynamics: Understanding the role of leadership; teambuilding
  • Legal Environment for NPOs: Legal entities applicable to NPOs
  • Labour Law: Overview of labour legislation applicable to NPO Fundraising with a marketing approach: Developing a fundraising strategy; proposal writing
  • Financial Management: Basic elements of financial and management accounts; recording of accounting activity; understanding of basic financial statements
  • Project Management: Project planning; time management; cost management
  • Strategic Management: Developing a strategic plan
  • Volunteer Management: Importance of volunteers; drawing up a volunteer policy
Jan 2009Nov 2009

BSocSc Honours in Social Policy and Management

University of Cape Town


Peter Snow

Wendy Van Zyl was employed by Moolman Bros. from January 1990 until July 1990 in our Bookkeeping Department.

She was diligent, honest and well liked by her colleagues. We wish her every success in the future and have no hesitation in recommending her for a similar position.

R.I. Tonetti

Wendy Van Zyl has been a pupil of Norkem Park High School since 1983. During her stay at this school Wendy has proved to be a young lady who is popular with her peer group  and the staff. ...

Wendy has definite leadership qualities. She was the Deputy Head Girl (Sport) at Norkem Park High as well as the Captain of the House Athletics team. Duties assigned to her in these positions were carried out in a responsible and cheerful manner. As a member of various' sports teams she could be relied upon to give her very best in every activity. This dedication to practice and her ability to work with the group made her an obvious choice for the Eastern Transvaal Netball team. Wendy was a leader at the Veld school and the Financial Director of the Junior Achievement Project.

I have no hesitation in recommending this mature young lady for tertiary education. Her friendly nature, good sportsmanship, leadership qualities and her above average ability make her an obvious choice as a university student. We wish her well and believe that she will be a worthy recipient ofr a bursary.

Johan Van Schalkwyk

This letter serves to confirm that Mrs W. Deacon was employed by Cullinan Holdings Limited from 22 July 1991 to 2 April 1993.

She performed her duties capably and enthusiastically. She is very hardworking, ambitious and trustworthy.

She is a fast learner and always willing to take on new challenges.

Wendy's outgoing personality has ensured a pleasant relationship with both our customers and fellow staff members. Numerous compliments were passed about her friendly character and the professional manner in which she handled all our inter-divisional accounting and administrative matters.

I can strongly recommend her for any future position applied for, and would certainly re-employ her should the opportunity arise.

Freda Brock

The Early Learning Resource Unit has been formally associated with Sikhula Sonkethrough the provision ofmaterials for training women in poorly resourced areas towardfull qualifications, and toward improving the quality of programmes for young children.We are particularly proud and hopeful of this partnership as we believe that Sikhula Sonke has the vision, the capacity and the integrity needed to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable young children.

Sikhula Sonke’s leadership is strong and visionary.It has clear focus and the ability to respond creatively and decisively to the changing education and training environment.It brings an appealing freshness to the early childhood development scene.Itdemonstrates compassion as well as an understanding of the challenges of maintaining sustainability in the ECD field.

ELRU is pleased to support any application for funding submitted by Wendy Wiemers on behalf of Sikhula Sonke.

We wish them huge success with their fundraising efforts.



I have been solely responsible for the fund-raising in my current position. I have managed to raise just over R3 million in the past 9 years.I have attended the annual Trialogue CSI Conference the last 2 years.