Lifes2good Foundation invests in effective organisations that can make a positive impact on people’s lives. In the foundation’s first strategic plan (2018 – 2022) our primary focus was on supporting organisations that help empower and educate women and children and increase the impact of community-based initiatives in accordance with the principles of equality and non-discrimination. There is now a shift of emphasis in our second strategic plan (2023 – 2027). The primary focus in the new plan is on climate change and environmental issues.
1st March 2023
On 1st March 2023 Galway’s first four outdoor classrooms were launched at the entrance to Terryland Forest Park. The project was funded by Lifes2good Foundation. It was the brainchild of Brendan Smith of An Tuatha and Galway City National Park. On the day the Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Clodagh Higgins, Duncan Stewart, teachers, representatives from Galway City Parks, schoolchildren from 3 schools in Galway, RTE and local media were all in attendance.
7th February 2023
Lifes2good Foundation and CRS Afghanistan have just completed a video project. The foundation has worked with CRS Afghanistan from 2018 to 2022, providing primary education, to boys and girls, in a remote mountainous region of Afghanistan. Without this programme there would have been no school in the 8 villages involved. Much was achieved in this 5 year programme and a new donor was found to replace L2GF. In 2022, to celebrate, and acknowledge, what has been achieved in the 5 year programme, we collaborated with a Kabul based film making company to make this short video. However also in 2022 we saw regime change in Afghanistan with the Taliban coming to power. The schools which were supported by L2GF are currently closed, as CRS ,and other members of the international community, negotiate to try to create the conditions to allow the schools to reopen.
4th November 2022
Synergy between Lifes2good Foundation and Lifes2good (the business) / Mount Amber Investing
As Lifes2good Foundation pivots to focus more on environmental issues it is good to see synergy between what the Foundation is focused on and the investments made by Lifes2good (the business) and Mount Amber Investing.
One such investment is in Amarenco & Co, who are partnering with SolarizEgypt, to solarize the roof of the Sharm El-Sheikh International Convention Centre which is hosting the COP27 this November. Amarenco & Co will also speak during COP27 at two panel discussions.
For further information on Amarenco, please click https://www.amarencogroup.com/en/
For more information on COP27, go to
12th October 2022
The original research based play developed by Lifes2good Foundation partner, University of Galway Active Consent programme, has toured across 19 separate 3rd level institutions in autumn 2022. In addition, Active Consent are piloting a secondary school version of the play titled How I Learned About Consent, premiering at the University of Galway in late October before performing for a selected number of secondary schools nationwide in November and December. Audience reactions at third level include:
“It made something so complicated so easy to talk about.”
(Male, 20, University of Galway)
“Every character was humanised. And the final scene sharing a moment of positive consent was really hard hitting because I think a lot of consent based work focuses on the negativity and what can go wrong.”
(Female, no age given, University of Galway)
“I think seeing actual people experience these events + having these thoughts allows people to relate + understand these scenarios more deeply.”
(Gender non-conforming, 23, Dublin City University)
Image from the play: From left to right: Illana Semler, Mark Heffernan, Ailish McDonagh and Gavin Friel
1st March 2022
It is heartening at this time to see some of our partner organisations working on the crisis in Ukraine
Our partners, The Immigrant Council of Ireland, are organising information sessions for Ukrainians in Ireland on their family reunification options to bring loved ones from Ukraine to Ireland. You can stay tuned to their social media channels and website to learn more. See link below.
Background of Lifes2good Foundation
After selling the highly successful Viviscal brand in 2017 James and Maria Murphy decided that the time was right for them to “give something back”.
James and Maria decided to use a portion of the money they had made to help improve the lives of others. They decided to focus primarily on Galway and the west of Ireland, but in recognition of global inequality they furthermore decided to work in two developing countries. It was also decided that the initial sectoral focus would be on women and children in situations of vulnerability.
Lifes2good Foundation was born in September 2017!
Lifes2good Foundation envisions a world where all women and children can live in dignity, fulfilling their potential, in vibrant communities, sustained by commitment and innovation.
The top value that guides our own behavior as a Foundation is “integrity” or “knowing what is right”. We will also be:
- COMMITTED: Set high standards for your behavior and stick to them, even when difficult.
- COURAGEOUS: Stand up for what you believe is just and good.
- HONEST: Choose words and actions that are sincere, not misleading.
- DISCIPLINED: Remain dedicated and self-controlled, even when challenged.
- RESILIENT: Learn from mistakes and losses; seize the opportunity to improve.
The top value that guides us in the work that we do, and the partners we support, is respect for the dignity of the individual. Every individual is worthy of respect and has the right to live free from exploitation, regardless of race, beliefs, nationality or social circumstance. We should be prepared to protect the dignity of the individual, where it is threatened, and also to help create the enabling society that can ensure dignity for all and facilitate potential being realised.
Lifes2good Foundation Strategic Priorities 2018-2022
- Recognising the importance of understanding the context and dynamics of domestic and sexual violence, we want to support the education and empowerment of women and girls.
- Recognising the role of attitudes to domestic and sexual violence in hindering progress towards its reduction we want to positively influence attitudes in Ireland to domestic violence, sexual-based violence and consent and relationships, particularly amongst boys and young men.
- Recognising the high levels of domestic and sexual violence we want to help protect and support women and children who are currently in situations of vulnerability.
- Recognising the value of social entrepreneurship, we want to support imaginative people, to nurture exciting ideas, to impact on current social issues in Irish communities.
- Recognising the positive influence of sport and music in Irish communities we want to widen access and participation particularly amongst girls and young women.
Click here to view Lifes2good Foundation Strategic Plan 2018-2022
Click here to view Lifes2good Foundation Strategic Plan 2023-2027
The Board of Lifes2good Foundation
Chairman: Conor Murphy
Members of the Board: James Murphy, Maria Murphy, Zhanna O’Clery, Pierce Blackmore, Bernard Kirk, Heather Pope, Conor Murphy, Denis Killian and Dearbhla Fitzsimons
Company Secretary: Tom O’Donnell
Chief Executive Officer: Maurice McQuillan
Programmes supported by Lifes2good Foundation
L2GF Annual Report 2018, submitted 24th October 2019
L2GF Annual Report 2019, submitted 27th October 2020
L2GF Annual Report 2020, submitted 21st October 2021
Girls education in Malawi
Lifes2good Foundation supports the education of 1,900 girls in rural Malawi in a large multiannual programme. In partnership with CAMFED we are tackling the most urgent issues for girls and young women in rural Malawi – addressing their systematic exclusion from secondary education and their lack of opportunity for economic empowerment post-school.
James Murphy, Chairman and founder of Lifes2good Foundation, with pupil mentors at Myamadzere Community day Secondary School, in Nsanje in southern Malawi, near the Mozambique border, on a monitoring visit in December 2019.
Changing attitudes and behaviours around “consent” and sexual violence
Lifes2good Foundation is involved in an ambitious four-year programme with National University of Ireland Galway. This is a groundbreaking programme of 6 actions aimed at transforming the national landscape when it comes to how young people learn about, and become skilled in, managing sexual consent and sexual violence. The programme is turning high-quality research into practical tools that can make an immediate impact on attitudes and behaviors.
Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, with students of NUI Galway, launching the Active Consent programme in January 2019.
Supporting Galway Rape Crisis Centre to deliver a comprehensive programme of support to survivors of rape and sexual violence
Lifes2good Foundation is working with Galway Rape Crisis Centre in a multi-annual programme to support the Rape Crisis Centre to deliver both post event counselling as well as more general educative work in schools and with young people around relationships, attitudes to sex and sexual violence. The Foundation is also supporting the Rape Crisis Centre to refurbish their building in the Claddagh into a fit for purpose premises to deliver this comprehensive service.
Maurice McQuillan, CEO Lifes2good Foundation, with Cathy Connolly, Executive Director, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, signing the first grant agreement on 27th April 2018, to support the delivery of an adolescent counselling service
Supporting COPE Galway to build a fit for purpose shelter for women in Galway at the site of the old Magdalen Laundry (now Modh Eile House)
This investment in the refurbishment of the old Magdalen Laundry is changing the way Galway can support its most vulnerable women and children. The new facility has a mix of one and two bedroomed units, with cooking facilities and can accommodate nine women and twenty-four children. The complex also incorporates a state of the art childcare unit (more than half of the people who turn to COPE for assistance are children). This new facility raises the standard of domestic violence services not just in Galway, but in Ireland.
James and Maria Murphy (co-founders of Lifes2good Foundation) with Jacqui Horan (CEO COPE Galway) and Noel Murphy (site manager) on a site visit to “Modh EIle” on 19th November 2019
Set up and sustain, 8 primary schools in remote, mountainous villages in Afghanistan where otherwise there would be no education
In a four-year multi-annual programme Lifes2good Foundation is working with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as part of a broader initiative to increase access to education across three rural provinces in Afghanistan.
Decades of war and extreme poverty have prevented many of Afghanistan’s children from accessing education, especially in remote areas of the country. Approximately 40 percent of Afghanistan’s school-aged children are out of school. In mountainous and isolated communities, these numbers are even lower. Girls in Afghanistan are especially disadvantaged and struggle with educational barriers like gender discrimination and child marriage – an estimated one out of three girls are married by age 18 and around 60 percent of Afghanistan’s out-of-school children are girls.
In the villages where Lifes2good Foundation has established schools, there is no other educational provider. The model provides one classroom multi-grade teaching and incorporates sustained engagement with the government, advocating for the government to take over the running of these schools after Lifes2good four-year engagement. Fifty percent of the pupils in the Lifes2good Foundation schools are girls.
It would not be culturally appropriate to run girls only schools in rural Afghanistan, but 50% of the pupils in the schools supported by Lifes2good Foundation are girls, and this is seen as an achievement in the context.
Maurice McQuillan, CEO Lifes2good Foundation, visits a classroom, in a Lifes2good Foundation school, in the mountainous village of Mindiyak in Bamiyan province in Afghanistan.
In 2020 schools closed for many months in Afghanistan due to Covid-19. Lifes2good Foundation partner, CRS, continued to deliver hard copy education packages into the remote mountainous villages so that some form of learning could continue. Lifes2good Foundation also agreed with CRS to divert some budget lines to allow vital hygiene messages to be developed for, and delivered to, the same remote communities. The same message was as important in the mountains of Afghanistan, as it was in Ireland ….. “Wash your hands”!
Run an Academy for budding social entrepreneurs in the west of Ireland
In collaboration with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Lifes2good Foundation supports a Connacht Academy for nascent social entrepreneurs. This programme is designed to support individuals at the earliest stage of their journey, with an entrepreneurial mindset, who wish to develop an idea to solve a social problem in Ireland. The aim of this programme is to provide individuals with the support they need to move from ideation to action.
In 2020 a survey of past participants of the Academy West was carried out and it revealed that over 80% of participants are “up and running” and rolling out their idea one to two years post programme.
Maria Murphy, co-founder of Lifes2good
Foundation participated as a judge in the selection process (Bootcamp) for the 2019 Connacht Academy for social entrepreneurs
In 2020, due to Covid-19 all workshops had to pivot to an on-line platform
Denis Killian, from the board of Lifes2good Foundation, with Paul O’Donnell and Cathy Coote of “ReCycle your Cycle – An Mheitheal Rothair”. ReCycle Your Cycle is the award winning initiative to repair bikes sent for scrap to Galway City Council’s waste depot. In 2019, ReCycle Your Cycle won a place on the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Academy, going on to win the top award for the Connacht region.
Support girls and young women’s participation in sport and music
Lifes2good Foundation recognises the positive influence of sport and music in Irish communities. We want to widen access and participation particularly amongst girls and young women.
The foundation is supporting Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe to set up and run a city-wide Galway School of music, to bring music out to the children via their national schools rather than construct one central building which children would have to travel in to attend.
The foundation is working with Connacht Rugby and University of Limerick Sports Science to increase participation rates in rugby in Connacht and to reduce dropout rates, amongst both genders and in all socio-economic areas.
The foundation is also working with The Community Foundation of Ireland and the Federation of Irish Sport on initiatives to encourage girls to participate in sport. The myriad benefits of sport are well documented particularly for teenagers and young people.
Yet the “drop out” rates of girls and young women at 14/15 years of age and again at 17/18 years of age remain stark. In 2019 Lifes2good Foundation opportunistically used Galway female GAA success to promote attendance at three All Ireland finals by creating a team-specific video prior to each final and promoting it on social media. The feedback in terms of engagement and “hits” across Connacht was encouraging.
Lifes2good Foundation video, used on social media, to promote interest in the Galway footballers when they reached the All Ireland final, after the Galway camogie team had won the All Ireland. (Thanks to “Along Came a Spider” for the production).