Sonam Jatso established Gakey House. In Bhutan’s language Dzongkha “Ga” means happiness and “key” means peace. So this is the House of Happiness and Peace. Gakey House is a restaurant and cultural center that also offers some housing for visitors and long-term resident experts working in Bhutan.

 

Sonam took over the project, which was previously a loss making restaurant business and re-invigorated the site with emphasis on cultural programs rather than just food catering. He decided to bring unemployed youth to the Gakey House and give them empowerment by running the restaurant and developing their own cultural program. Sonam has hired teachers to offer training to unemployed youth who can join Gakey House and become part of the project which provides employment and cultural sustainability.

 

Sonam has been concerned with youth unemployment as a major problem to Bhutan’s economy. Too many youth are using drugs and not finding a future. Cultural sustainable development and heritage tourism offers opportunity for future work, training in hospitality, and focus on cultural identity. Sonam also brings in a wide variety of traditional dance from remote areas including masked dances and ceremonies, traditional “arac” drink and singing. Gakey House brings peace and happiness to everyone who goes there.