Other Helpful Information
Stamps can be purchased, and mail can be sent from the White River Post Office. Mail can be received at the Hands Office. The address is:
Hands at Work PO Box 3534
White River 1240
Limited Wifi access is available on the Hands at Work property.
PLUGS & ELECTRICITY
Plugs for electricity are 15 amps round 3 pin, 240 Volts.
TRANSPORTATION ONCE STAYING AT HANDS AT WORK
Hands village is located 15km outside of White River. Driving the Hands at Work vehicles is at our discretion and subject to satisfactorily completing an observed drive with a staff member; this is also only available to volunteers staying 6 months or longer and who have held a valid drivers license for 5 years.
You must obtain an International Driver Permit from your home country.
Many Hands staff and volunteers have cars and are willing to give you a ride when they are going somewhere.
For volunteers using a Hands vehicle, a per KM rate is charged and split amongst all passengers and will be billed monthly, along with your accommodation costs.
During the orientation process we will discuss the use of public transport.
WEATHER & CLIMATE
Summer months in Mpumalanga (October to April) have mild to hot subtropical temperatures and heavy rainfall. Average summer temperature can be around 26°C (79°F) to 38°C (100°F).
Winter months (May to August) typically have sunny days and colder nights. An average temperature can be from 8°C, 46°F at night to 26°C (79oF) in the day.
There can be rainy days in both seasons, so be sure to bring a raincoat or umbrella.
When entering a new culture, it is important that your dress is suitable and respectful to the people you will be visiting. Traditional African culture requires females to wear a long, loose fitting skirt (knee length and below) when going into the communities. Tight and revealing clothing is not acceptable. If cold, females can wear tights or trousers under the skirt. All jewellery must be simple and modest.
It is good to have nice clothing for different outings and church, etc. Remember that during the winter months in South Africa (May – August), weather can often be cold so bring warm layers.
While around Hands Village and in town, modest long shorts, jeans and sundresses are fine.
There may well be opportunities for you to swim whilst you are here. Swimming gear must be modest, therefore, bikinis and ‘Speedos’ are not acceptable.
White River town is 20 minutes drive from Hands Village and caters for general shopping, with several restaurants. Nelspruit is a further 20 minute drive beyond White River where there are a number of shopping centres.
When visiting the families, children and patients, it can be overwhelming to see so many needs around you. There are times when visitors feel led to give a gift to a patient or family. We want you to give if you feel led, but to follow the correct process of giving via Hands at Work and the Community Based Organization.
We don’t want to create a sense of dependency and expectation of hand outs and gifts all the time from any foreigner that comes around. We are all about serving our community and empowering them to help themselves as well as those around them. No gifts are to be distributed while in the community or at Care Centres. This will be discussed further during orientation.