Home

Lifes2good Foundation invests in effective 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.

Background of Lifes2good Foundation

When James Murphy made money from the sale of the highly successful Viviscal brand in 2017 he decided that this was too much money for him alone, or indeed for himself and his family. He wanted to give something back.

James and Maria Murphy decided to use a portion of the money 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!

Vision

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.

Values

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

The Board of Lifes2good Foundation

Chairman: James Murphy
Members of the Board: Zhanna O’Clery, Conor Murphy, Dearbhla Fitzsimons, Eoin McKeon, Maria Murphy, Denis Killian, Heather Pope and Bernard Kirk
Company Secretary: Tom O’Donnell
Chief Executive Officer: Maurice McQuillan

James Murphy

Maria Murphy

Zhanna O’Clery

Eoin McKeon

Bernard Kirk

Heather Pope

Conor Murphy

Tom O’Donnell

Denis Killian

Dearbhla Fitzsimons

Maurice McQuillan

Programmes supported by Lifes2good Foundation

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.
Read More


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.

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 the 2018 Academy 80% of Academy 2018 participants moved to piloting/testing phases or full rollout of their project by the end of the programme.

Maria Murphy, co-founder of Lifes2good Foundation and Maurice McQuillan, CEO of Lifes2good Foundation, participate as judges in the selection process (Bootcamp) for the 2019 Connacht Academy for social entrepreneurs

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.
Read More


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).