Case: Two homes, one museum (Brussels, Belgium)

In a partnership between the Belgium museum BELvue and the Federatie voor Mondiale en Democratische Organisaties (FMDO) a guided tour has been created through the museum by guides with a diverse immigration background. The tour: 2 (t)huizen, 1 museum (two homes, one museum) doesn’t focus on the museum but on the stories the guides have experienced and how they relate them to the objects on display in the museum.


As the museum about Belgium and its history BELvue presents their country through seven different themes; democracy, prosperity, solidarity, pluralism, migration, language and Europe. The museum strives to be a place that facilitates new encounters and the exchanging of thoughts or experiences about democracy. This is done through the organisation of different activities, guided tours and educational programs.

One of those programs is 2(t)huizen, 1 museum. The museum created the program in partnership with FMDO. This organisation focuses on connecting and empowering people with a diverse immigration background. During the program visitors discover the museum through a guided tour given by someone with an immigration background. They tell their own life story based on the different themes of the museum. Six museum guides have been trained by FMDO to share their story and experiences. They tell these stories in Dutch, a second language for the guides.


The program has been running for more than two years and usually consists of two parts which can be booked separately. First, a guided walk through the city followed by a visit to BELvue. Both tours consist of stories about the experiences and knowledge of the guide’s live in their home country. Prior to the program guides were trained by FMDO. Some of them had previously been working as guides in their home country, most of them had not.

A group consisting of six guides is currently active. All of the guides work as volunteers and are paid a small fee.
The tours are still popular with organisations and groups like schools or associations. Usually with the aim to meet, interact and learn from people with different cultural backgrounds. Still, there are periods of times in which less tours are booked. During these times FDMO organises test tours with their guides. This is how the organisation tries to keep connected with the guides and hopes to minimalize losing guides. The number of available guides keeps getting smaller which makes it more and more difficult to facilitate all reservations.

Impact (usability for WINSOME)

The program gives the guides the change to express themselves and to tell their story. They connect their own experiences and past challenges to the history and issues of the city they now live in but also to the Belgium society overall. There is no mandatory story written by the museum or FMDO they have to tell. They create their own tour. Participants of the tours could book different guides and get a different story and perspective each time.
The guides develop new skills thanks to the training of FDMO. Skills they can use in different aspects of their life. The tours also give the guides the opportunity to keep practising the Dutch language. For both the guide as for the participants the tours provide a valuable change to meet and interact with people from different social and cultural backgrounds as well as, hopefully, see things from a different perspective.


Something to learn from the 2 (t)huizen, 1 museum program is the collaboration aspect of it. Valuable partnerships are formed between BELvue and FMDO, between FMDO and the guides and between the guides and participants.
Another strong aspect of the program is that is focusses on lived experiences and the sharing of stories. The guides share their own personal story, not a story composed by the museum or FMDO. Their story adds to the story told by the museum and creates further relevance for its existence.


Contact information

Federatie van Mondiale & Democratische Organisaties: Bulent Özeler (


Juultje Slotema, National Museum of Education.


Header image: Museum Belvue