Frequently Asked Questions
What does Toreva mean?
Toreva is a Shona word that means, depending on context, “We speak” or “We mean”. It fully encapsulates our mission to promote stories and languages that have been marginalized for a long time.
How did you come up with the idea?
For the entire team at Toreva, our desire to promote diversity in children’s literature comes from our own personal experiences as readers. Growing up, we all struggled to find fun storybooks that reflected our specific experiences and identities as young black Africans.
The motivation for the literacy aspect of our company comes from Gwen’s freshman summer, during which she worked with 14 to 16-year-old high school girls in Murewa, a rural part of Zimbabwe. Her partner on the project is Nigerian and could only communicate with the girls in English. This shouldn’t have been a problem because English has been called the lingua franca of Zimbabwe for the past 50 years, with the education system built on this assumption— classroom lessons and final exams are administered in English.
And yet, here were these girls, most of them only a few months from writing National exams that would determine their academic careers and they could barely understand, let alone, communicate in English. It’s that experience that spurred the Zimbabwe Literacy Project and that drives our dream to make storybooks in indigenous languages more easily accessible to all children, something which will positively impact how they learn.
Where do you get your content?
We worked together with an illustrator from Zimbabwe to create our first book, Greedy Gari/Gari Chikomana Chemakaro. We should start accepting submissions from writers and illustrators in the next few months. Subscribe to our newsletter to hear when we open up for submissions.
How do you plan to translate the books into the different languages?
We are working with writers who come from different linguistic backgrounds. That way, our books aren’t books in translation as much as they are retellings. We have chosen this model because we want to make sure that no matter what language they read in, the children who read our books get the best quality stories we can offer.
Can I donate?
Yes! Just click the donate button below. All of the donations will go directly to ensuring the sustainability of Toreva's mission.
How can I get involved?
Click here to let us know what you have in mind. We are still in the early stages of development as an organization and would welcome any productive feedback and support. You may also subscribe at the bottom of the page to stay updated on our progress.
How are you manufacturing your books?
We are printing with a reputable company in China.
When can I expect to get my book?
Your book should arrive by August 15th if you live within any of the US territories, September 15 if you live in the UK, and by October 15 for Zimbabwe.
International shipping costs will apply for shipping outside of the U.S.