Tag Archives: Colombia

xchangeAGENT Inc. Sponsors the Inter-American Bank of Development Conference in Medellin, Colombia

Tampa, FL (PRWEB) April 22, 2009

The Inter-American Bank of Development (BID) Conference met in Medellin, Colombia from March 26th – March 31st. This event was sponsored, in part, by xchangeAGENT Inc., a payment processing company that specializes in emerging markets. The six day event had a central strategy, globally minded, to focus on improving competitiveness, furthering social development, and to govern and fortify Colombia.

Since the opportunity for free trade is on the horizon, enhancing Colombia’s competitiveness in the global marketplace was one of the central themes at the BID conference. The banks intend to support Colombia in corporate development to create new job opportunities and to increase growth.

Another focus at the conference was that of social development, helping the most unfortunate population better their living conditions enabling them to contribute to the county’s growth. The bank will support the development of human capital through investment of early child development or transitional programs like school-work, the quality and efficiency improvement of social services, and the development and expansion of social protection programs.

The final theme at the BID was to govern and fortify the process to decentralize. The strategy will support the capacity of the country in the provision of services and the procedure of the decentralization process; fortifying the control of the State; the efficiency and effectiveness of the public expense; and the regulatory capacity of the State.

xchangeAGENT’s presence at this significant national conference for Colombia only served to solidify xchangAGENT’s relationships within this country. “We chose to sponsor the BID conference because we wanted to show our full support for Colombia’s efforts to finalize the Free Trade Agreement and decentralize the banks. By being a continuous support during these economic times, we are letting Colombia know that we are in this with them for the long haul,” said Michael Prozer, CEO of xchangeAGENT and XA Worldwide Corp.

Prozer continues, “xchangeAGENT designs its solutions not only to provide advanced technical applications for Colombia and the surrounding regions, but also to use our solutions as a tool to help build the economical landscape and bring about new opportunities and contributions to a region that needs it. Our solutions are designed to not only help us succeed as a company, but also give back in so many ways. We have encouraged the use of our solutions as a revenue source for charitable, nutritional, and educational programs that are very much needed.”

xchangeAGENT Inc. has been operating in Colombia for over 4 years now, and has focused on bringing leading-edge payment technology to this emerging market. One of the most recent projects was creating electronic payment solutions for the government of Medellin to include: Kiosk, Web, Call Center, POS and Mobile Payment Technologies.

xchangeAGENT Inc. has pioneered new mobile payment technologies which will be released throughout South and Central America. “Our Mobile Technologies have been designed for real-time payment transactions and bringing about a revolutionary way to take mobile payment technologies to a whole new level. We have a suite of technologies and applications to Improve the total mobile Customer Experience. We have partnered with MovistarTM, (parented by TelefonicaTM) who will be our provider for cellular and data services to more than 1 million BlackberryTM devices initially. We couldn’t be happier with the development of these new applications and the opportunity to work with our partners for this endeavor” Michael Prozer CEO xchangeAGENT Inc.

xchangeAGENT Inc. is a division of XA Worldwide Corp. which is an enterprise payment solutions provider that offers electronic payment software, electronic bill presentation and payment solutions (EBPP), and e-marketplace management systems with value added services to medium and large companies and governments in emerging global markets. Driving emerging market payments and distinguished by comprehensive international services,XA Worldwide helps customers leverage new technology as well as existing and new resources to achieve superior business and social results.


Colombia: Salesian Missions Provides Recommended Services for “At Risk” Youth Highlighted in New Watchlist Report

New Rochelle, NY (PRWEB) April 30, 2012

(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions responds to a new report on “Children and Armed Conflict in Colombia” from Watchlist, a network of international non-governmental organizations that researches and disseminates information with the aim to protect children in war zones. The report was released in April 2012.

Children should not have to face the perils of war. But in many countries around the globe, childrenboth boys and girlsare recruited by force to fight ongoing battles in their homelands, says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. They are subjected to sexual violence, psychological and physical harm and even death. In Colombia and many other countries, Salesians have developed programs to assist these children.

These programs are in alignment with the recommendations outlined in the Watchlist report.

The report noted that, More than half of an estimated 3.9 to 5.3 million internally displaced people in Colombia are under 18, rendering them even more vulnerable to the threats that caused them to flee their homes in the first place. Children in Colombia have been subjected to forced recruitment as child soldiers, sexual violence and rape, physical harm and death. Furthermore, they have been denied humanitarian assistance.

Education is at risk in Colombia. According to the report, schools have been used for military purposes. The national armed forces have occupied school buildings or camped nearby. Instead of being a refuge and a place for learning, schools have been utilized as a method of recruitment. In response, guerrilla groups have planted land mines around the schools without recording their locations, preventing children from attending school altogether.

Teachers are under attack as well. The report detailed that according to the teachers union in Colombia, between 1991 and 2011, 871 teachers were killed, about 3,000 threatened, 1,070 forcibly displaced, and 60 reported missing.

Without education, youth cannot advance their lives and break the cycle of poverty, adds Fr. Mark. They end up on the streets even more vulnerable to forced recruitment and physical harm.

The report goes beyond just identifying the severity of the problems facing children in Colombia. It also provides a series of recommendations to governments, NGOs and donors to help support youth and alleviate their suffering.

For nonprofit organizations like Salesian Missionsthat have a long standing investment in humanitarian work in Colombiathe report suggests they should offer pyscho-social assistance and income-generating activities for children formerly associated with armed groups. They also recommend providing survivors of sexual violence, particularly in rural areas, adequate psycho-social, medical and legal care and support.

The report also suggests that programs should offer flexible schooling to allow children from rural areas, poor backgrounds, and those who were internally displaced an opportunity to continue to attend school by adapting the times and curriculum to meet their needs.

The reports recommendations are work the Salesians know all too well.

The Salesians have been working with youth in Colombia for more than 40 years, says Father Mark Hyde. We have built schools in places that previously lacked access to education like the remote village of Condoto. We provide services to homeless children at Don Bosco City in Medellin as well as focus on critical psycho-social and educational services to displaced youth in refugee camps across the country.

Don Bosco City in Medellin is one of the oldest and largest programs for street children in Latin America. Beginning in 1965, Don Bosco City has served 83,000 boys and girls. It began in 1965 with 125 children, and today serves more than 1,500 children, youth and families per year. The program serves both boys and girls and goes beyond traditional homeless shelters by providing a three-stage program, culminating in vocational training.

Through this model of education and rehabilitation, youth are able to learn the skills needed to support themselves and break the cycle of poverty, says Fr. Hyde.

In Bogota, an internationally-recognized program helps street children overcome challenges from where to find a nutritious meal to how to pursue an education and find a job. Through the Children of the Street program from the Salesians Youth Service Foundation, instructors who were once street children themselves provide the support and stability needed for at-risk children and youth to rebuild their lives.

With Salesian efforts that focus on providing educational opportunities to children and youth, students in refugee camps learn valuable job skills which will not only provide income, but also reduce the likelihood they will be recruited as child soldiers. More than 70 percent of graduating students are placed in jobs through Salesian Missions partnerships with community organizations and private sector companies.

No matter the program or population of youth we serve in Colombia, our aim is always to provide market-driven technical vocational training, preventive and curative health treatment, and counseling services, explained Fr. Hyde. Our goal is to help alleviate current traumas and provide a foundation of supports and education that will assist youth in years to come and enable them to provide for themselves and their communities.


Salesian Missions is headquartered in New Rochelle, NY, and is part of the Don Bosco Networka worldwide federation of Salesian NGOs. The mission of the U.S.-based nonprofit Catholic organization is to raise funds for international programs that serve youth and families in poor communities around the globe. The Salesian missionaries are made up of priests, brothers and sisters, as well as laypeopleall dedicated to caring for poor children throughout the world in more than 130 countries and helping young people become self-sufficient by learning a trade that will help them gain employment. To date, more than 3 million youth have received services funded by Salesian Missions. These services and programs are provided to children regardless of race or religion. For more information, go to http://www.SalesianMissions.org or http://www.MissionNewswire.org.


Board-Certified Florida Ophthalmologist Brings Expertise to Colombia, Providing Service to Thousands of Disadvantaged Patients

Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) February 18, 2013

The residents of Leticia, Colombia, now have over 2,500 pair of donated prescription eyeglasses, thanks to over 75 healthcare professionals who completed a 10-day mission with Medical Ministry International. Dr. Carey Rowan, a board-certified ophthalmologist at Rowan Eye Center, was one of five doctors who traveled to Colombia to treat over 600 patients a day, performing over 300 eye surgeries on underprivileged Colombians.

Dr. Rowan learned the importance of volunteering at an early age. His father, Patrick J. Rowan, M.D., founded the Rowan Eye Center of New Port Richey more than 30 years ago, and made it a priority to help needy people in other countries. He did this by participating in medical mission trips. Dr. Carey Rowan had the opportunity to join his father on these trips as a child. The trips formed his resolve to continue to give to those in need. During his residency, Dr. Carey Rowan went on three separate medical mission tripstwo to India, and one to the Honduras.

Dr. Rowan had to put his medical-mission trips on hold when he began building his own medical practice. After training in New York and Maryland, Dr. Rowan took over the Rowan Eye Center in 2001. He built a successful practice around thousands of cataract, refractive, oculoplastic and glaucoma surgeries, in addition to medical treatments he provided for glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration clinically.

This was my first medical mission in 12 years, commented Dr. Rowan. While its definitely our goal to help other those in countries who badly need medical attention and help, we also focus on our patients at the Rowan Eye Center and the escalating vision problems here in the U.S.

In the United States, statistics show that vision problems are on the rise (1):

Glaucoma affects more than 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older.

oAnother 2 million dont know they have the disease.

Cataracts affect nearly 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older.

More than 3.4 million people age 40 and older are vision-impaired (defined as having 20/40 or worse vision in the better eye, even with eyeglasses).

In 2012, Dr. Rowan opened the Eye Shop in Clearwater, FL, as an extension of the Rowan Eye Center. Dr. Rowan feels strongly about protecting and preserving peoples vision, and he also performs eye exams at the Eye Shop location. The Eye Shop utilizes cutting-edge technology to bring patients the best results, including the use of autorefractors. Autorefractors are designed to measure how light enters the eye, which tells the exact prescription needed for clear vision. Dr. Rowan chose to open the Eye Shop, in addition to spending time at his clinic in New Port Richey, in order to bring his services to more areas of Florida.

Carrying on the tradition of the Rowan Eye Center, the Eye Shop of Downtown Clearwater delivers the same great service, but with several unique aspects. Dr. Rowans wife, Pam, runs the retail store and believes that today’s eyewear must not only be functional but also fashionable.

The retail store has trendy name-brand eyewear, including Ray-Ban, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Versace, Fendi, Dior, and Tom Ford.

The Eye Shops knowledgeable staff offers eye exams in Tampa Bay to people of all ages. To make such exams even more convenient and affordable, the Eye Shop accepts the following insurance policies: Aetna, EyeMed, Advantica, Davis Vision, First Look, Freedom, BCBS, Vision Benefits of America, OptiCare, Celtic Individual Health, UPMC Vision Advantage, Coventry Health Care of Florida, Spectara, Superior Vision, United Health Care, and VSP Vision.

To learn more about the Eye Shop or to schedule an appointment, visit http://www.eyeshopdowntown.com or call the Eye Shop at 727-755-EYES.

About the Eye Shop

Located in the retail heart of downtown Clearwater, the Eye Shop is designed to fulfill all optical needs. Dr. Carey Rowan of the Rowan Eye Center serves as the surgical consultant for the Eye Shop downtown, while wife Pamela Rowan applies her background in art and business as the shops fashion and retail director. The boutiques mission is to offer personalized service and a wide variety of high-quality, affordable eyewear and lenses. Customers can obtain eye exams and other services on-site from a team of Board-certified optometrists, or bring in existing prescriptions for eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and more to be filled. For additional information, visit http://www.eyeshopdowntown.com.

(1)AAO.Org, Accessed February 5, 2013. Eye Statistics. aao.org/newsroom/press_kit/upload/Eye_Stats_3-5-07.pdf