It was truly serendipitous after your thread that this morning I woke to an email from a family in Namibia (our favourite place in the world!) that we met on our last trip. So happy to hear from them except now I have massively itchy feet to get back there asap.
I'll share the story as an example of how money from tourism can help (and lead to bigger things). They own a small guest house up on the Angolan border (very remote) which they built just a few years ago and we were lucky enough to stay there and get to know them. They employ people from the local village (and truly care about the village as family) and the village has a share of the profits of the guesthouse with a committee to decide how funds from the guesthouse are spent to better the village (eg they have built a new church, community library). We were so taken with what was happening there as the best example of community integration into enterprise so we support them by sending packages of educational items in need (eg last time we sent teaching clocks for the village school as they were struggling to teach the kids to tell the time also 500 pens as the kids don't get pens etc), and hopefully next time also medical items.
If you make a visit you might come across a community like that that you can directly support. But even the tourist dollars going into small ventures like this helps the local community and country enormously.
On our last trip to southern Africa we drove over 7000km, 5000km of this in remote areas. We stocked our car up with non-perishable food and shared food with people along the way - some himba women who asked for food for their little kids, some guys selling rocks at a shipwreck site etc. We also bought some soft baby blankets and gave them to women with small babies walking by the road. Simple things that weren't going to change the world but helped those people that day.
There's a charity called world families Australia that do amazing projects in Ethiopia (and other places) and also support individual children and families, real action on the ground.
I hope you find a reputable project that might need an extra pair of hands but if not then don't discount investing money into the local economy by taking a holiday and falling in love with whatever region you visit and come home and sing the praises to everyone who'll listen 😀 tourism is such a big part of the economies and government revenue in many African countries and supports so many communities too. A country like Rwanda for example is so poor and recovering from an unimaginable history and a big chunk of government revenue comes from selling permits to trek to see the mountain gorillas. They'd rather you spend $$ purchasing a permit, hiring a guide for a week, tipping rangers and spending money in the country (and then raving about it so other people go) than spending a week helping in a school or something.
Sorry for raving on so much 😁