By Charles Igwe
The Auxiliary Bishop of Benguela Diocese in Angola has issued a warning against the exploitation of children through child labour. During his homily at the Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral, Bishop Estêvão Binga emphasized the importance of treating children as a gift from God and advocated for the practice of theological virtues such as faith, hope, and love.
Bishop Binga expressed concern over the unfortunate practice of using children as instruments of labour, likening it to treating them as mere tools for survival. He emphasized that children should not be viewed as a workforce for family units, particularly among poor families who may see having many children as a means of assistance, with some sent to work in fields or pastures.
Lamenting the exploitation of children for financial gain, the Bishop criticized parents who refuse help from benefactors to adopt their children, choosing instead to continue exploiting them for economic reasons. He urged parents to be available and generous to their children, fostering an environment where God’s plan for each child can be realized.
Bishop Binga, who began his Episcopal Ministry in February 2022, stressed the importance of family as a caring school and center of catechesis. He encouraged good organization within families, noting that it contributes to the development of faith, hope, and genuine love. According to the 57-year-old Catholic leader, families serve as the primary institutions that teach essential values, even before formal catechesis, and play a crucial role in shaping a child’s understanding of faith and values.