Calvary Kids Orphanage and Dairy Farm
Where Children are Free from Poverty and fed on the Milk of Human Kindness
Written by: Farina S. Dy
Calvary Kids is a seven-acre orphanage and school located in Bacolod City. It was established in 1988 by Joe Rosmarino, a retired U.S. Marine Officer and his wife Billie. While Joe and Billie had three of their own “homemade kids” as Billie calls her biological children, they have also welcomed into their home almost more than five hundred kids since they started, and eventually became known as Tatay (father) Joe and Nanay (mother) Billie to their students.
Today, they are also Tatay and Nanay to 145 children, who are either orphans or are brought to them by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or the police.
Calvary Kids also serves as a school where children learn not only academic lessons, but also the love and acceptance from Jesus Christ. Visitors who pass by their classrooms would always be greeted by the children with a warm “good morning or good afternoon visitors, Jesus loves you.” The school has already produced several teachers, nurses and social workers. Some of whom return to serve the school as teachers to the younger students.
Meanwhile, as the number of children in Calvary Kids continues to increase, Billie would often wonder how they would be able to sustain the needs of their growing flock. Thus, in 2011, Joe and Billie decided to buy a dairy cow so they could have milk. They named her Bossy. They eventually added three more named Peaches, Freckles and Patches. While naming dairy cows can be fun, Billie realized that she needed to know more on dairying and was thus so happy to have met the NDA staff in Negros Occidental during the 2013 Dairy Congress held in Bacolod. Her worries were soon set to rest as she now knew whom she could count on for help.
Today, they have more than 50 dairy animals, with 16 of these on the milk line, producing an average of 50 liters of milk daily. These are processed into fresh milk and cheese. They also produce milk soap, which they called Moo Moo Kids Soap.
The dairy farm is what Billie calls “a dream come true. “ It has provided work for their boys who want to be engaged in jobs other than laundry and cleaning. Although the boys also had their turn at doing the laundry, cleaning and kitchen work, this was seen more as chores for the girls. When the dairy farm was set up, the boys were assigned to do farm chores like cleaning the cowshed, feeding and milking the animals, as well as other dairy related chores.
The dairy farm also paved the way for the establishment of another building, which they called the Holy Cow Kitchen. Here, milk is processed into fresh milk and cheese and is also used for other goodies.
The word Calvary is often associated with pain and suffering as Christ was crucified there nearly 2000 years ago. But to Billie, the word Calvary really means freedom. To her Calvary Kids, it means a home, love, freedom from their poverty and a new chance at life, with good food, good milk and the milk of human kindness in their Tatay Joe and Nanay Billie.