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Second finalist 2013

Wai Hnin Tun

The House of the good life


La Casa de la Buena Vida is a story of hope, struggle and salvation. It is a unique place whose doors are open to all. Opened in 2006, by Jesus Rodriguez (Chule), it is a rehab center for drug addicts, a shelter for migrant families and a lifeline for those who face social marginalization. The philosophy in the Casa is every person who has been helped to a new life will help another.

My project started in 2012 to see how a small community is trying to provide answers to problems that arise around them. I was interested in the uniqueness of La Casa de la Buena Vida-it survives on the help received by donations, volunteers and little help from the local council. The residents are given daily tasks and most importantly encouraged to feel a sense of restored dignity. Recently two babies have been born to couples that met there- symbols of hope and new beginnings. La Casa de la Buena Vida is an on-going project to tell the stories of the people who have generously allowed me to become a part of it. The Casa has an open door policy for anyone who comes in search of help and shelter as well as support to get out of the grasp of drugs and crime. The number of people living there fluctuates between 30 and 80 people at any given time.

Although initially a place for recovering drug addicts, the Casa has also welcomed immigrant families with no resources and nowhere else to go as well as Sub Saharan immigrants looking for shelter. La Casa is an unusual shelter as well as rehab center set in a once abandoned farmhouse in the hills of Palma Palmilla, Malaga.

It was set up in 2006 by Jesus “Chule” Rodrigues, who after having battled drug addiction and time in prison for drug related crimes, decided to help those who are in the same situation as he was.


Born in Burma but spent her childhood in Dubai and London, where she later studied International Law.

She started taking photos while in Kenya in 2009, working as a freelance photojournalist and correspondent contributing to a local weekly paper The Sunday Express.

All her early work was based on social and environmental issues and focused on Korogocho, the second largest slum in Nairobi.

For the last 5 years she has been working on projects in both Malaga and Burma trying to share the stories of those who are in need of a voice.